This season, VAR will be used in more UEFA men’s club competition matches than ever before and will expand even further from 2024/25.
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In 2023/24, an additional 239 matches will use VAR across the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League.
This year’s UEFA Champions League will see the implementation of VAR expanded to all qualifying rounds of the competition for the very first time in its history, representing an increase of 63 matches in comparison to the 2022/23 season where this technology was introduced as of the third qualifying round. VAR was successfully delivered in the recent preliminary round which took place in Iceland and is now being coordinated across Europe for the upcoming first and second qualifying round matches.
For the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, the 2023/24 qualifying rounds will see the introduction of VAR for the very first time with the technology implemented as of the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round and the UEFA Europa Conference League play-offs. This represents a significant increase in the number of matches with VAR in these competitions, with the UEFA Europa League expecting a 26% increase (36 matches) and the UEFA Europa Conference League seeing a 311% increase (140 matches) with the notable inclusion of the latter’s group stage matches.
Looking forward to the new Club Competitions cycle commencing in the 2024/25 season, VAR shall continue to be used for all UEFA Champions League rounds, with the technology introduced as of the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. Subject to a feasibility study due to the high number of matches, VAR may also be introduced prior to the play-offs of the UEFA Europa Conference league next season.
Since its introduction during the 2018/19 season of the UEFA Champions League knock-out phase, UEFA has delivered a total of 1648 matches with VAR across club and national team competitions.