Marcello Nicchi
Marcello Nicchi - Photo by Andrea Staccioli - Insidefoto

Marcello Nicchi, president of the Italian Referees’ Association, has announced that Video Assisted Referees (VAR) will be employed starting next season in Serie A.

Following an Italian Football Federation (FIGC) council meeting, Nicchi stated:

“We’ll be using VAR starting from the start of next season, one year earlier than planned.”

It was a little over a year ago that a landmark decision was made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at its 130th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cardiff, Wales, paving the way for the introduction of live experiments with video assistant referees in football.

The expectation was not to achieve 100 per cent accuracy in decisions for every single incident, but to avoid clearly incorrect decisions that are pre-defined “game-changing” situations – goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents and mistaken identity. The IFAB agreed to allow one type of experiment, which will involve a video assistant referee having access to video replays during the match and either reviewing an incident on request by the referee, or communicating with the referee proactively about an incident that he/she may have missed.

This is an important announcement which should please all fans of calcio, as it represents a real innovation for Italian football to help make decisions on the pitch more accurately.