Shopee Cup 2024/25 to implement VAR for the first time

The upcoming ASEAN Club Championship – Shopee Cup 2024/25 is set to make history by incorporating the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) system, marking its debut in an ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) tournament. This significant technological advancement aligns with global football trends and aims to enhance the accuracy of critical match-deciding decisions.

Currently, VAR technology is officially utilized in domestic leagues of only three ASEAN countries: Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. These nations have pioneered the integration of this advanced refereeing support in the region, setting a precedent for others to follow. Following in their footsteps, Malaysia and Indonesia have announced plans to adopt VAR in their respective leagues starting next season, indicating a shift towards more technologically assisted officiating across Southeast Asia.

The introduction of VAR in the ASEAN Club Championship is expected to bring a new level of fairness and precision to the competition. It is particularly significant considering the high stakes involved, as the tournament features top club teams from across Southeast Asia competing for regional supremacy.

The decision to implement VAR comes amid increasing calls for transparency and accuracy in football officiating. The system will be used to review decisions related to goals, penalty calls, direct red card incidents, and mistaken identity, ensuring that critical calls are as error-free as possible.

This move is seen as a step forward in raising the standards of ASEAN football to international levels. By adopting VAR, the AFF is not only enhancing the quality of competition but also aligning with FIFA’s push for greater consistency and fairness in football officiating worldwide.

Fans and teams alike are hopeful that the introduction of VAR will minimize controversial decisions that could affect the outcomes of games, thereby promoting a more just and competitive tournament environment. As the ASEAN Club Championship – Shopee Cup approaches, all eyes will be on how effectively VAR is implemented and whether it will positively impact the quality of the matches.

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