Champions League VAR to be fast-tracked for round of 16
Dec 03 2018
There will be eight groups of four, followed by a last sixteen, quarter-final, semi-final and final.
Aleksander Ceferin, the Uefa president, previously said at a press conference with the European Club Association president Andrea Agnelli that next season would be "the latest for VAR".
Matches in the UEL2 will be played like Europa League games on Thursday nights to ensure the Champions League's prime Tuesday and Wednesday night TV slots are untouched.
Before the last 16 an additional knockout round will be played between the second-place finishers in the group stage and the sides who finish third in their respective Europa League groups.
All three European finals will take place in the same week with the new competition played on Wednesday, Europa League final a day later and Champions League final on Saturday.
"As already decided during the September meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee, VAR will then also be used in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, as of the play-off stage of the competition, and at the 2019 UEFA Super Cup".
UEFA had originally meant to introduce VAR from next season, starting in the the Champions League qualifying playoffs in August.
With the plans briefly outlined by a member of European football's governing body, the new competition is now referred to by the working title "UEL2", abbreviated from Uefa European League 2.
This move was confirmed at the Nations League Finals draw in Dublin on Monday, with all forthcoming knockout matches in UEFA's flagship club competition to benefit from VAR.
"This competition arose from continual conversations with the Association of European Clubs".
"There was a widespread demand by all clubs to increase their chances of participating more regularly in European competition", Ceferin said.
"This has achieved a strategic focus and will lead to higher quality and inclusion in our competitions".
No changes will be made to the format and access list of the UEFA Champions League.