Juan Luis Larrea, the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), has confirmed that La Liga will seek to use video assistant referee (VAR) technology from the 2018/19 season.
Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena SER, the 64-year-old said that he expects Spanish soccer’s top flight to follow Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga by implementing a VAR system next year.
“For next season,” said Larrea, when asked about the potential introduction of VAR, “that is our intention. Technology is now coming into football and you have to accept it.”
He added that the technology will undergo thorough testing during 70 trial matches before being used during La Liga games.
VAR can be used to review goals, red cards, penalties and cases of mistaken identity, and was trialled at various tournaments including the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup before being introduced to Serie A and the Bundesliga at the beginning of this season.
The technology has, however, been met with some opposition, with critics arguing that the system slows the game down and does not solve the problem of human error.
Massimiliano Allegri, manager of Italian giants Juventus, joked that Serie A “will become like baseball in the United States, we stay ten hours at the stadium eating peanuts,” while the team’s long-serving goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon added that VAR is “making the game ugly”.