HNS is Ready: VAR to be Introduced in Croatian Football from Spring 2020

Daniela Rogulj

December 6, 2019 – The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has fulfilled all obligations required to start using the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) system in Croatian football.

The Croatian Football Federation has completed all activities and referee training to introduce VAR technology into Croatian football, which is funded through the FIFA Forward program.

Namely, eleven Assistant Video Referees (VARs), thirteen Assistant VARs (AVARs), sixteen VAR Match Referees and five technicians have been trained.

Ante Kulušić, President of the HNS Football Referees Commission and VAR Project Manager for Croatia, submitted all final documentation, including a competition permission request to the International Football Federation Board (IFAB) and the World Football Federation (FIFA).

This fulfills all the obligations of the Croatian Football Federation necessary to start using the VAR technology in Croatian football.

“Congratulations to all who have participated in this challenging and extensive project and thanks to the Croatian Football Federation and Fifa for their great support. A lot of resources, effort and time have been put into the training, and we look forward to a positive IFAB response and the go-ahead to use VAR, as announced, from the spring part of the Croatian championship,” said Kulušić, who is also the vice president of HNS.

Recall, back in May this year, selected referees underwent complex training under the watchful eye of IFAB, an independent regulatory body that determines the Laws of the Game of association football, so that VAR would be ready to use in Croatian football in a year. 

“VAR technology is the most important and fastest revolution in modern football. It was used for the first time in 2016 and has been used in the most important games of the 2018  World Cup. Our vision for VAR technology and video aids is as little interference in the game as possible,” IFAB Technical Director and former English football referee David Elleray said at the presentation of VAR technology in Sesvete then. 

All involved in this project agreed; the introduction of VAR technology is the most demanding project of HNS. Disagreements with referees, which have hovered over the Federation for years, generated many affairs that would have been minimized by introducing VAR.

The VAR room will include only the VAR Chief Referee, AVAR or Assistant Referee, and VAR Technician. 

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