Russia set to begin using VAR technology

FILE PHOTO: Referee Andres Cunha reviews the VAR footage before awarding France a penalty during the World Cup 2018 Group C match between France and Australia at Kazan Arena on June 16, 2018, in Kazan, Russia. /VCG Photo

Russia will start using the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in all its top flight football matches starting this weekend, Russian Football Union (RFU) announced on Wednesday.

RFU’s decision to initiate the use of the VAR comes after successful incorporation of the technology in other leagues including the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga. It has also been used at the FIFA World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations and the UEFA Nations League.

The Russian Premier League (RPL) is set to resume February 28 with the first match of the 20th round between football clubs Krylya Sovetov and Orenburg.

The VAR technology helps match officials scrutinize goals, penalty decisions and direct red card incidents, and also helps referees avoid mistaking player identities.

As the RPL resumes this weekend, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg will be hoping to continue their charge to the title with a win over Lokomotiv Moscow.

Zenit are currently at the top of the standings with 45 points from 19 games, 10 points ahead of second placed FC Krasnodar.

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