NYON, Switzerland – Coaches at the four UEFA Nations League finalist teams have unanimously voiced their support for the Video Assistant Referee system (VAR), the governing body said on Monday.
UEFA organized a briefing for England’s Gareth Southgate, Netherlands Ronald Koeman, Portugal’s Fernando Santos and Switzerland’s Vladimir Petkovic, where they received a detailed presentation on its use by chief refereeing officer, Roberto Rosetti.
“My feeling both internationally and domestically is that, in the main, the big decisions have been right,” Southgate said. “The purpose of using VAR is to help the referees so I think it has been a help.
“You will never get a system that is 100 percent fail-safe but the key decisions that are clear and obvious have been rectified. For me, that is a positive,” he added.
Koeman said: “VAR is a good help to make football fairer and most of the mistakes will be corrected.”
“That, of course, is a good thing.
“We must realize, however, that discussions will continue to exist because you can often interpret actions in multiple ways.
“I am in favor of the VAR tackling the big, obvious issues only, rather than to search endlessly for potential errors,” he continued.
Santos described VAR as a “fantastic tool for all referees, players and coaches and it should be extended to all UEFA competitions.”
“I believe that the introduction of VAR in the UEFA Nations League represents a step forward for all people who love football and fair play,” he said.
Petkovic also expressed his satisfaction on the introduction of the VAR, adding that it is a significant tool.
“I am very positive about the introduction of VAR.
“If we have the technical means to support the referees in their work, we should make the best possible use of them.
“It is important, however, that in the end, it is still a man who decides, not a machine,” he added.
The finals of the first edition of the Nations League will be held on Wednesday, with the championship match scheduled for Sunday.
In the semifinal, Portugal will play Switzerland on Wednesday, while the Netherlands and England will clash on Thursday.