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Cramped conditions could rule out VAR after COVID-19, Italian referees official says



Serie A matches may have to do without the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) when action resumes following the coronavirus outbreak, the head of Italy’s referees’ association (AIA) said on Monday.

Marcello Nicci, who is chairman of AIA, said this would be because the cramped conditions where video officials work could be a health problem.

“In some cases for the video assistants today, we use narrow spaces, such as vans, where the referees work in a space of two square metres, without a safe distance between them and other workers,” he told RAI television.

“I hope this doesn’t happen but the risk is there, I hope they give us sanitised spaces.”

Nicci added that referees had been forgotten amid the debate over if and when Serie A, which has been suspended since March 9, could re-start.

“I haven’t heard any serious proposals regarding the protection of the referees,” he said.

“The referees are ready, they are respecting the rules, they are working in video conferences with the technical bodies, and they are keeping fit indoors.

“But, before moving on to phase two, we will have to worry about them too.”

He said further that referees were as much at risk as anyone else.

“They travel alone on trains and planes, going through airports and stations… If we start again, I will want to know what guarantees are offered.”


Edited By: Olawale Alabi)