Euro 2024 referees to explain VAR decisions to captains

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UEFA will ask teams at the 2024 European Championship to ensure their captain is the only player who speaks to the referee in a bid to explain key officiating decisions.

The measure is designed to help teams understand why and how video assistant referee (VAR) decisions have been taken and prevent multiple players from surrounding the referee.

Captains at Euro 2024 will be requested to ensure their team-mates do not encroach upon the referee to allow direct conversations to take place between the captain and referee.

Players who fail to abide by the captain’s role and approach the referee “showing any sign of disrespect or dissent” will be shown a yellow card.

UEFA’s managing director of referees Roberto Rosetti states this will enable “the decision to be relayed in a timely and respectful manner.”

In the event that the captain is a goalkeeper, an outfield player will be nominated to fulfil the role in case an incident takes place at the opposite end of the pitch.

Rosetti said: “We want strong-personality referees taking and assuming decisions — which can sometimes be unpopular — on the pitch but, at the same time, we want them to be more open and explain what led to certain decisions.

“They receive a lot of information from the video assistant referee (VAR), and we are ready to speak and share more details with the players and coaches to help them understand how a decision was taken.”

UEFA’s team of refereeing specialists will meet with the 24 squads competing at this summer’s tournament to explain the measure in greater detail.

Improving transparency with VAR decisions has been a target area for development for refereeing boards across the world, with the UEFA Football Board stating the technology needed to be more “consistent, transparent and understandable” during last month’s meeting in Nyon, Switzerland.

Different measures have been introduced to facilitate this, with FIFA using in-stadium announcements to explain VAR decisions at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Rosetti continued: “Officials will be encouraged to be open in their discussions with the captains to foster a healthy atmosphere between all parties. This will allow them to build significant amounts of trust with players and show the kind of leadership required from modern officials in action.”

Euro 2024 takes place between June 14 and July 14 in Germany.

The officials at this summer’s tournament were announced by UEFA in April, with English quartet Anthony Taylor, Michael Oliver, Stuart Attwell and David Coote and 2022 World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak among those selected.



If VAR can’t decide quickly, referees should review their own decisions

(Nelson Almeida/AFP via Getty Images)

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