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Football technologies at UEFA EURO 2024

An overview of how technology will be used at this summer's tournament.

A view inside a UEFA VAR room
A view inside a UEFA VAR room UEFA

Video assistant referee (VAR)

VAR was introduced to the UEFA Champions League in 2019 following extensive testing and referee training. Since then, its usage has expanded into other competitions, including all men's senior national team and club competitions, the UEFA Women's Champions League and UEFA Women’s EURO.

How will VAR work at UEFA EURO 2024?

There will be a VAR, together with two assistant video assistant referees (AVARs) and three video operators at all UEFA European Football Championship games. Four video operations rooms (VOR) have been built in the football technologies hub (FTECH hub) at the international broadcast centre in Leipzig to service this.

VAR explained: The four match-changing situations

The VAR team will constantly check for clear and obvious errors related to the following four match-changing situations:

1) goals
2) incidents in the penalty area
3) red cards
4) mistaken identity

  • The VAR team will check all match-changing situations but will only intervene for clear and obvious mistakes. The referee can hold up play while a decision is being reviewed.
  • If the VAR review provides clear evidence of what appears to be a serious mistake in a game-changing situation, the VAR can then ask the referee to conduct an on-field review. The final decision can only be taken by the referee.
  • The VAR is also able to consider any infringement that could have taken place in the immediate build-up to the incident (the attacking phase of play).
  • For 'factual' decisions (e.g. offsides, fouls in or outside the penalty area), the VAR can simply inform the referee of those facts and the on-field view screen isn't needed, but it is always the referee who takes the final decision. The information of the review process will be communicated within the stadium using the stadium screens.

Connected ball technology

The official match ball features technology to help match officials make quicker decisions
The official match ball features technology to help match officials make quicker decisionsGetty Images

For the first time at the UEFA European Football Championship, the official match ball will feature adidas connected ball technology, which sends precise ball data to video match officials in real time. Combining player position data with AI, the innovation contributes to UEFA’s semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and will be key to supporting faster in-match decisions. Connected ball technology can also help VAR officials to identify every individual touch of the ball, reducing time spent resolving handball and penalty incidents.

Semi-automated offside technology (SAOT)

SAOT enables VAR teams to determine offside situations quickly and more accurately, thanks to ten specialised cameras installed at the stadium which track 29 different body points per player. Introduced to the UEFA Champions League in 2022, the system integrates with the EURO connected ball to immediately identify the point of ball contact for the offside situations analysed.

Goal-line technology (GLT)

UEFA has installed the goal-line technology (GLT) system in all the venues in use for the tournament. The system, in use in UEFA's elite club and national team competitions since 2016, deploys seven cameras per goal, using control software to track the ball within the goal area. Using vision-processing techniques and software, the GLT indicates if a goal was scored within one second of the action courtesy of a vibration and visual signal on each match official's watch.

The football technologies hub

The FTECH hub is the epicentre of all technological operations for EURO 2024.

Video match officials (VARs and AVARs) will be present and operational for all matches from the four VORs inside the FTECH hub.

The hub receives and collates all the data collected by the various technologies via optical cameras (goal-line technology and electronic performance tracking system) or sensors (connected ball). All the data is quality controlled live and distributed to the different applications (SAOT, performance analysis portal, etc).

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