By Masoud Hossein

VAR; highest priority for Iran football

May 10, 2021 - 17:15

TEHRAN - Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) has failed to fulfill its promise for over a year for video assistant referee (VAR) implementation and the country’s football pays the price for that.

Last year, FFIRI acting president Heydar Baharvand had said they would use VAR in the coming season but the technology has never been used in Iran football.  

Sunday night, a football match between Sepahan and Persepolis in Iran Professional League was thrown into turmoil due to the refereeing decisions.

Bijan Heydari had to show the spot at least two times in the match but failed to make the best decision since the Iranian stadiums have not yet been equipped with VAR.

The football federation has not yet been able to use this system due to financial and infrastructural problems and it could harm the football.

In the 2020 AFC Champions League final match, Persepolis lost to Ulsan Hyundai after the Korean team were awarded two penalties after VAR review.

If the VAR had been already implemented in Iran’s stadiums, Persepolis would have won their first ever title in AFC Champions League.

The Iranian players face problems playing outside the country since they are not familiar with the latest VAR developments.

The refereeing decisions changed the result of the match between title favorites Sepahan and Persepolis.

At the end of the match, the players were involved in a tunnel bust up and the controversial videos have gone viral on social media.

VAR implementation should be the highest priority for the football federation because almost all the professional leagues had already started using it in their stadiums.

Persepolis will have to meet Esteghlal in Tehran derby on Friday but there is a possibility that some players of the team will be punished ahead of the decisive match by the Disciplinary Committee. And it's all because of not being VAR in the stadium.

Iranian teams have developed in the recent years. Persepolis have advanced to the ACL final twice in three years. In the 2021 AFC Champion league, three Iranian teams out of four teams also booked their place in the Round of 16. The Iran’s League Organization must implement VAR as soon as possible to prevent more controversies in the league.

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