Euro 2024 | VAR, zero tolerance and additional time: The latest developments in refereeing for the Euro

Euro 2024 | VAR, zero tolerance and additional time: The latest developments in refereeing for the Euro
Euro 2024 | VAR, zero tolerance and additional time: The latest developments in refereeing for the Euro

It was a tour that the head of the UEFA referees committee Roberto Rosetti finally managed to complete. It was tiring, with no less than 24 steps for him and his colleagues. The objective? Prevent, inform and warn the twenty-four selections who are preparing to compete in Euro 2024. Indeed, certain rules will change. Or rather evolve. So we might as well keep everyone informed, particularly for educational purposes.

One of the main changes will be refereeing decisions made with video assistance, which will be explained in real time in the stadium and for viewers. During a press conference to present the refereeing system planned for Euro 2024, Roberto Rosetti indicated that all situations involving the intervention of video assistance (VAR) will be broadcast in the stadium.

A jersey hanging in the area = a penalty

After the video assistance, the technical explanation of the decision will be broadcast on the giant screens of the stadiums“, explained the Italian. For example: “Penalty, foul play. Germany’s No.9 player touched the ball with his left hand which was in an unnatural position, above his shoulder and widening his body“. The same technical announcement will be available for the commentators of the match so that they can explain it to the viewers. During the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the referees announced the decisions to the spectator with an announcement made before resuming play .

I think VAR is a fantastic tool and we won’t go back“, underlined Roberto Rosetti, explaining that the aim is to “reduce the number of VAR interventions“, but “if there is a clear picture that can prove a clear error, we can thank VAR“. UEFA also gave another directive to its referees: it will be necessary to be more severe regarding clashes in the area. The body would particularly regret errors on this subject during the previous Euro in 2021, and each jersey drawn could therefore worth a penalty.

Only the captain will be able to speak to the referee

Furthermore, Roberto Rosetti reaffirmed that the only dialogue authorized to explain decisions will be between the referee and the team captain. Any player who challenges a decision or asks for an explanation will be punished with a yellow card. This rule was applied in all three European competition finals, with two yellow cards in the Champions League final, two yellow cards in the Europa League final and one yellow card in the Europa Conference League final.

Gianluigi Donnarumma during England – Italy in Euro 2024 qualifying, October 17, 2023 in London

Credit: Getty Images

We are doing this for the next generations. We don’t do it for the referees, but for football and the image of the game, for young players and for young referees“, justified Roberto Rosetti, calling on the players to avoid any dispute and to let the captain discuss with the referee. For the selections which have a goalkeeper captain (Italy and Slovenia), a player will be designated before the match to represent the goalkeeper during the match.

Limited additional time

Finally, regarding additional time, the objective is not to exceed a total of ten minutes over the entire match, in the hope of maintaining 60 minutes of effective play seen in the Champions League. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the new eight-second rule (in force in July), i.e. the maximum time a goalkeeper can have available to keep the ball, should not be anticipated. A goalkeeper will therefore always have six seconds flat during Euro 2024. Finally, each team will have 3 substitution opportunities during the match to make five changes, with an additional one in the event of extra time.

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