KNVB signs off on VAR use in Eredivisie

The Eredivisie will become the latest European football league to introduce video assistant referees (VAR), with the system to be used fully in the top division of the Dutch game from next season.

The announcement was made following a meeting of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) yesterday (Monday). Along with the Eredivisie, VAR will be utilised in the KNVB Beker cup competition from the quarterfinals onwards, the season-opening Johan Cruijff Schaal match and the playoff games for promotion and relegation, as well as European qualification places.

In total, this means VAR will monitor 324 games during the 2018-19 season. Dutch broadcaster NOS said the KNVB will foot the bill of €1.7m ($2.1m) per season for the first two campaigns, with clubs set to contribute after that.

Eric Gudde, general director of the KNVB, said: “This is a unique moment in Dutch football, which we have been working towards for a long time. During this time, we have proven to be the forerunner in the field of the video referee… thanks to the preparatory work in the Netherlands.

“With the permission of our clubs, we can now continue to develop the VAR in our own country, which allows us to be innovative with a continuous process of technological improvement.”

The KNVB’s announcement comes after Fifa on Friday confirmed that VAR will be used at the World Cup for the first time later this year in Russia. The use of VARs was approved earlier this month by the IFAB, the sport’s law-makers. Fifa will now seek a sponsor for the system at this year’s tournament, which will run from June 14 to July 15.

Earlier this month, LaLiga, the organising body of the top two divisions of Spanish football, confirmed plans to introduce the system into its top division.

LaLiga has hitherto been the only league out of Europe’s top five competitions to have resisted the use of goalline technology, but president Javier Tebas has previously said it will go one step further by utilising the VAR system from the 2018-19 season.

In a statement on March 2, LaLiga said it had agreed with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to introduce VAR in the top division from next season.