Indonesian League Eyes VAR Integration for Enhanced Football Industry Growth

PSSI General Chair, Erick Thohir, emphasized the pivotal role of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in propelling the development of Indonesia’s football industry. Speaking after a trial organized by PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB) at JSI Field in Megamendung, Bogor, Thohir expressed confidence that the implementation of VAR in League 1 would elevate the league’s quality, subsequently fostering overall improvement in the football industry.

Thohir articulated, “For me, with the use of VAR, the quality of the league will get better. In this way, our football industry will also get better.” The 53-year-old chairman highlighted the positive impact on player performance, asserting that the assurance of meticulous officiating would enhance the players’ skills and confidence.

During the trial phase, eight cameras strategically positioned across the field captured the action during local Football School Club (SSB) matches. Referees and assistant referees actively engaged in simulating replay operations, aiding in crucial decision-making processes. These decisions encompassed the validation of goals, assessment of penalties or non-penalties, scrutiny of potential fouls leading to yellow or red cards, and rectification of errors by the main referee or linesman.

PT LIB President Director, Ferry Paulus, underlined the adherence to international standards during the trial, confirming that the equipment used mirrored that employed in the 2023 U-17 World Cup held in Indonesia. “The props that are being demonstrated or that we are using now, starting from the simulator, then all the existing equipment is exactly like the one we bought which was also used at the U-17 World Cup yesterday (2023),” stated Paulus.

Ratu Tisha, Deputy Chairperson of PSSI, disclosed that the application of VAR in League 1 is slated for the Championship Series round scheduled for May 4-26, 2024. Tisha outlined the procedural stages yet to be completed, including final approval and assessment by FIFA for referees and VAR assistant referees. She indicated that FIFA’s evaluation, scheduled between March 1 and 8, would ascertain the readiness of the first batch of referees, paving the way for the subsequent trial matches.

The push for VAR integration aligns with the broader goal of elevating Indonesian football to industry status. With the upcoming Championship Series potentially marking the introduction of VAR in League 1, Indonesian football enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the positive transformations it could bring to the sport.

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