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Croatian football set to introduce VAR system


ZAGREB, 21 January 2019 – The Croatian football league is set to introduce the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. 

Delegates from FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have met with the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) in Zagreb regarding the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) into the Croatian first division and cup competitions. 

Dirk Schlemmer, IFAB’s VAR project manager and FIFA’s innovation manager Daniele Diana, were in Zagreb to outline in detail all the phases of introduction and use of the VAR system, HNS reports.


Ante Kulušić, who is the president of the HNS referee’s commission and leader of the VAR project in Croatia, said: “The introduction of the VAR system in the Croatian first division and in cup final matches, as we have seen today, is one of the biggest projects in HNS history. Guests from IFAB and FIFA presented for six hours all the introduction procedure details, the education phase and testing, and the complexity of the technology necessary for the introduction and use of the VAR system.”

Kulušić believes that one year will be needed to set the system up and for it to be ready to use.  


Schlemmer added: “From day one it is important that everyone – HNS, referees, coaches and players, journalists, the public, fans – have a clear picture. VAR is an auxiliary tool that can eliminate eventual major mistakes. VAR is not a referee, the ref on the pitch will still be the main person in making decisions and implementing the rules of the game. All participants in the meeting and presentation clearly understand what awaits HNS to get the go-ahead from FIFA to use VAR. I know that they would like to introduce VAR as soon as possible, but I warmly recommend that referees and HNS give it some time to test the system first and then get the go-ahead from FIFA. I believe that one year is an understandable period for the system to be introduced.”

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