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VAR to be used in Italy v. USA friendly

Saudi Arabia v Egypt: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA - JUNE 25: The big screen inside the stadium displays a VAR penalty review during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group A match between Saudia Arabia and Egypt at Volgograd Arena on June 25, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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UEFA has selected the friendly between Italy and the U.S. men’s national team on Tuesday to test out VAR.

What could possibly go wrong?

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As European soccer’s governing body works towards using Video Assistant Referees throughout its competitions over the next few years, the game between Italy and the USMNT will be key in helping UEFA officials try out the process.

In a statement on UEFA’s website on Monday, they confirmed that VAR will be in use for the friendly in RKC Genk’s Luminus Arena in Belgium.

Following the UEFA Executive Committee decision to introduce Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League and the plans to subsequently extend the use of VAR at the final tournament of UEFA EURO 2020, in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League, and in the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals, UEFA will conduct VAR tests at selected matches.

The upcoming friendly between Italy and USA on Tuesday 20 November 2018 at 20:45CET in Genk, Belgium has been selected as a match in which VAR will be tested. There will be no impact on the multilateral running order. In case of a VAR review process by the match officials, a dedicated VAR graphic will be implemented on the multilateral feed by the host broadcaster. In addition, a message will be displayed via Web CIS to inform broadcasters about the ongoing referee decision-making process.

Although the MLS players on the USMNT roster will be use to VAR, as will the Italian players as Serie A has introduced the system, there will be a few on the field who have yet to play in an environment where VAR is used week in, week out.

With the Premier League announcing last week that it will introduce VAR for the 2019-20 season, UEFA is now stepping up its testing so they aren’t too far behind.

The details given ahead of this test also give a few indications as to how UEFA plans to use the system, with graphics on the main screens informing everyone inside the stadium what is going on.

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