Turkish Super Lig to Enlist Foreign VAR Refs for Crucial Matches

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced a significant change for the remainder of the Trendyol Super Lig season: foreign video assistant referees (VAR) will officiate critical matches.

This decision comes after negotiations between the TFF, UEFA, and five top European leagues. From Matchday 32 onwards, VAR officials from Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and Portugal will be assigned to high-stakes games.

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To ensure smooth communication, the system will utilize a combination of Turkish and English. The on-field VAR will be joined by AVAR (Assistant VAR), AVAR 2 (Second Assistant VAR), and VAR Support, all fluent in English.

The first matches to receive foreign VAR assistance include Ankaragücü vs. Gaziantep FK, VavaCars Fatih Karagümrük vs. Fenerbahçe, and Alanyaspor vs. Galatasaray.

This move comes amidst past controversies regarding VAR decisions in the Super Lig. Notably, in 2021, Fenerbahce accused the league and broadcaster beIN Sports of manipulating VAR to their disadvantage.

The club president even launched a “#beFAIR” campaign against beIN Sports, culminating in restricted media access for certain club events.

The TFF’s decision to implement foreign VAR officials aims to increase transparency and impartiality in the league’s most crucial matches, potentially mitigating future controversies.