UEFA approve VAR from the Last 16 of the 2018/19 Champions League

VAR in action

After approval from UEFA's Executive Committee in Dublin, the Europa League will be cut from its current 48-team group stage so that all three competitions feature 32 teams in eight groups of four.

This Monday UEFA's executive committee, taking advantage of the celebration of the Euro 2020 draw, have given the green light to VAR being introduced to this season's Champions League. There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages.

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 competition was born out of ongoing dialogue with clubs through the European Club Association".

That means teams from leagues below that level - which at the moment would include Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, excluding their champions - would go straight into "UEL2" qualifying rounds.

The Champions League will not be the only competition to have the VAR as the Nations League Finals 2019 will also get the benefit of the technology.

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After the group stage, there will be a knockout round for UEL2 runners-up and the third-placed finishers in the Europa League to determine who advances to the round of 16.

The new European competition will offer one Premier League club the chance to participate with various other teams from around the continent.

Pressure has built from the clubs for the move after some high-profile and controversial refereeing decisions in the Champions League, including Cristiano Ronaldo's harsh red card...

"There will be more matches for more clubs, with more associations represented in the group stages", said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

As revealed by SPORT a few days ago, UEFA have planned an intensive course to prepare the 17 referees who are now working in leagues which don't use the technology.

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