Live VAR to debut during Isuzu UTE A-League Finals Series as Australia leads the way in Asia

For the first time in Australian football history, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) reviews will be broadcast live during the 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League Finals Series, giving fans a detailed look at the decision making processes that occur during such reviews.


Fans present in stadiums and watching along at home will also have the benefit of hearing the match referee announce their final decisions as well as providing explanations as to why reviews were undertaken.

“As the first nation to adopt VAR in a top-tier national competition when we introduced it into the A-League in the 2016/17 season, Football Australia has always led globally in this space,” said Football Australia CEO James Johnson.

“We have continued to advocate globally for more innovation and this evolution marks a significant step forward in Football Australia’s commitment to enhancing the clarity and the experience for the fans, players, coaches, and match officials.”

The Isuzu UTE A-League will lead the way within the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), becoming the first league to adopt such a strategy in an effort to enhance transparency whilst also giving fans a better insight as to how the process works.

“As we saw during last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup where the same process and technology was introduced for the first time,” continued Johnson.

“We are confident that this new communication layer will improve the understanding of VAR decisions, positively impact the overall experience, and increase transparency in the process.”

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With the technological enhancement set to debut in this weekend’s Elimination Final between Sydney FC and Macarthur FC, A-Leagues Commissioner Nick Garcia believes the introduction will benefit everybody in the game.

“It’s exciting to be able to introduce this technology with Football Australia in time for the Isuzu UTE A-League Men Finals Series to bring fans closer to the game we all love, whether they are in the stadium or watching from home.

“This technology will add more transparency to the referees’ decision-making process to give fans, players and coaches more insight on matchday, and what better stage to have this ready for than our 2024 Final Series.”

In a similar process to that which occurred at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, when it’s recommended the on-field referee reviews an incident on the pitch-side monitor, that is when the new ‘live’ process will begin.


After completing their pitch-side review, the referee’s final decision and rationale will then be broadcast to both supporters inside the stadium as well as fans watching at home on Network 10 and Paramount+.

“This initiative is something Football Australia has been looking to introduce for a few seasons,” said Football Australia’s Head of Referees Nathan Magill. “We believe it is important for the game’s stakeholders, particularly the fans at the ground or watching from afar, to be across the thought process of the match officials in such situations.

“In preparation, our referees have undergone extensive training throughout the season to ensure they are well-prepared to implement this new system consistently and effectively.

Magill concluded: “Their training has included developing clear communication skills and consistently applying communication during match scenarios.”

The exciting new initiative will make its debut during this weekend’s Elimination Finals which see Sydney FC host Macarthur FC before Melbourne Victory host local rivals Melbourne City.

However, due to the fact the VAR system has not been used all season in the Liberty A-League, Football Australia (FA) and the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) can confirm the system will not be used in this weekend’s Grand Final between Melbourne City and Sydney FC at AAMI Park.