VAR will be utilized in all of the Europa Conference League knockout rounds for the first time, according to Football Insider. The video assistance referee system was not implemented until the Conference League semi-finals in 2021-22. In contrast, the top two divisions of Uefa’s competition structure, the Europa League and the Champions League have had VAR in place for several seasons.
West Ham receives unprecedented Uefa message
The Hammers won their Conference League group with a perfect record, advancing to the round of 16. They will not know who their opponents will be until after a set of play-off matches between group runners-up, which is planned for February 16 and 23. This season, VAR will be used for the first time in the Conference League, with all future matches in the tournament likewise set to be officiated using the system.
The announcement signals a policy shift from Uefa, who had said that VAR would only be used in the Conference League final this year. Last season, West Ham reached the Europa League semi-finals when they were defeated 3-1 on aggregate by eventual champions Eintracht Frankfurt.
They qualified for this season’s Conference League after finishing seventh in the Premier League. David Moyes’ team is 17th in the Premier League. Therefore, their European campaign may be secondary to their domestic success.