The Video Assistant Replay (VAR) system will be implemented for the remaining matches of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers, with upgrades planned for stadiums that need them in the coming weeks.
The technology is already in use for qualifiers in Asia, at UEFA and at Conmebol, but has encountered obstacles in its implementation in CONCACAF, due not only to a lack of facilities in some countries, but also sufficiently certified officials.
Since the start of the year, however, football’s world governing body FIFA has accredited referees, as well as VAR assistants and managers. Prior to that, only the United States, Mexico, and Canada had VAR officials as they were the only ones using the technology in their various leagues.
Regarding the logistical and technological implementation, the task will fall to the production and audiovisual company MediaPro, which is already in charge of broadcasting all Concacaf events. The sites that will see VAR implemented over the next few weeks are Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama.
Implementing the technology in Jamaica will incur an additional expense as the equipment will need to be airlifted to the island before being installed in the country’s national stadium. The other CONCACAF venues participating in the Octagonal Round, which do not yet have the technology, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama are accessible via roads.
Meanwhile, the absence of the technology has seen the competition plagued by several high-profile errors that have led to much criticism.