KUALA LUMPUR: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is committed to ensuring the operation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in the Malaysian League (Liga-M) consistently aligns with the protocols established by world football governing body FIFA.

FAM Deputy President and Chairman of the FAM Referee Committee Datuk S. Sivasundaram said the committee, which convened yesterday, reviewed the current implementation of VAR technology in the Malaysia League (M-League), focusing on the Super League competition for the 2024/2025 season.

He said after three weeks of Super League matches, the VAR implementation has been smooth, with referees adhering to FIFA’s established protocols.

“FAM places great importance on referee performance and strict compliance with the FIFA VAR Protocol and its Laws of the Game 2024/2025.

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“Therefore, every action and decision is made according to the guidelines specified in the VAR Protocol and the Implementation Assistance and Approval Programme (IAAP).

“The FAM Referee Committee will continue to monitor referee performance in the M-League, especially in matches using VAR, and has taken various proactive measures to ensure referee performance remains at an optimal level,” he said in a statement today.

The statement outlined five proactive measures: VAR Match Data Analysis, the FAM VAR Familiarisation Programme, the second batch of VAR Training, VAR implementation in Sabah, and Pre and Post-Match Analysis.

On VAR Match Data Analysis, Sivasundaram said the FAM Referee Unit has analysed the performance of 15 matches using VAR since the first week, resulting in 11 On-Field Reviews (OFR) with an average of 0.73 OFR per match.

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“This figure reflects the current understanding of VAR protocols among referees in the M-League,” he said.

For the second batch of VAR Training, Sivasundaram said FAM has begun training to increase the number of VAR referees, with the training phase scheduled from August to December.

“A total of 15 referees, 15 assistant referees, and 10 replay operators will be trained as VAR officials,” he said

Regarding VAR implementation in Sabah, Sivasundaram said FAM will conduct a training phase from June 6 to 10 using VAR Goal Sport technology to enable its use at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu.

Sivasundaram said FAM is deeply committed to the implementation of VAR technology in the M-League and and aims for continuous improvement over time.