La Liga to Implement VAR Technology Starting Next Season

Spain is set to welcome video assistant referee technology into its top flight from next season onwards.
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Spain is set to welcome video assistant referee technology into its top flight from next season onwards.

La Liga's official site revealed on Friday that it, along with the Spanish Football Federation, had agreed to implement the controversial technology from the 2018/19 campaign onwards.

The organization also explained that its match officials would begin to get to grips with the offline phase of VAR from this weekend onwards in preparation for its use from next season.

A statement on La Liga's site read: "The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and La Liga have agreed to the implementation of the VAR (Video Assistant Referee), which aims to receive approval by the "International Football Association Board" (IFAB), for use in the Championship National First Division League from the beginning of the 2018/19 season.

"Both organizations have agreed that the future VOR (Video Operations Center) will be located in the Football City of the RFEF, in the municipality of Las Rozas, on which work has already begun. 

"The chosen technological provider is the company Mediapro, who has extensive previous experience in the development of the VAR in other international competitions. La Liga will be responsible for the costs generated in the start-up and development of the project.

"From this Friday, referees and First Division assistants will begin the offline phase of technical training, which includes the study of the VAR protocol, practices in simulators and conducting video training through 'offline' matches."

VAR has already drawn fierce criticism from fans, pundits and the media alike for its inconsistent usage, confusing laws and the time it takes for a decision to be reached.

The technology has been used on club and international stages already over the past six months, but its teething problems still mean that teams are now always benefiting from the right decision.

Teams such as Real Madrid, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have all hit out at VAR over decisions going against them, and it will be interesting to see what fans of La Liga make of it when it's introduced next term.