A referee uses VAR in the first leg of the third round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – Asian region. VAR technology is expected to be soon deployed in Vietnam. — Photo AFC

In the recent online exchanges, FIFA representatives worked with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and the Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (VPF) in initial steps of bringing VAR to the national premiere league in the near future.

But the VPF will have to spend up to VND70 billion (around US$3 million) to install and operate the technology required.

"This is just the first step to assess Vietnam's ability to meet technical and referee conditions for VAR," Le Hoai Anh, VFF’s general secretary, said.

Anh added that the process from project implementation to being licensed by FIFA to use VAR, takes about 13 months, so the earliest date it could appear will be in the November of the 2023-24 season.

Based on the provisions of FIFA's support, application and approval programme, the VFF and VPF will need to be licensed by the world football organisation to use video assistant referee in the league.

According to Anh, the training of VAR referees will take a lot of time, effort and money to buy or rent equipment but this can be seen as a big step for Vietnamese football in order to bring more quality matches in the national top flight league.

Duong Van Hien, head of the VFF Refereeing Committee, said that he also looks forward to VAR being applied in the league because the referees, no matter how talented and hard-working they are, can’t avoid making wrong decisions. If there is VAR, the quality of the tournament will be higher, reducing controversies related to the arbitration.

If the above plan is implemented, Vietnam will become the second country in Southeast Asia, after Thailand, to apply VAR. In 2018, Thailand first put VAR technology to the test at some matches. 

Source: Vietnam News