The Singapore Premier League (SPL) could be set for heightened drama next season with video assistant referee (VAR) technology set to be introduced.
According to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), it will make the island state the third country in ASEAN Football Federation and the 11th in Asia to implement VAR.
The use of the technology has most recently made headlines after it was involved in overturning goals in high-profile English Premier League matches over the weekend; this included the Liverpool-Manchester City and the Leeds-Arsenal games.
However, project lead and FAS Director (Referees) Nazeer Hussain, told the association's website that VAR will increase the quality of football in Singapore by improving referee performances.
"We want them to be kept abreast with the latest developments in officiating, both in terms of their knowledge of the game and by equipping them with technological aids," said Hussain.
“With VAR already widely used and accepted due to its contributions to the modern game, the late FAS president Mr Lim Kia Tong mooted the idea of introducing VAR here as he believed it could be beneficial to local football. It was an exciting suggestion and we have been working hard on the project since the end of 2021.”
Process takes 12 to 18 months
Match officials are currently undergoing VAR training and preparation, the third of five stages of an implementation and approval process designed by FIFA.
The entire process typically takes between 12 to 18 months, said Hussain.
He added that the training was going well and that FAS was currently scheduling visits for FIFA officials to visit Singapore and assess officials' progress.
"There’s still work to be done, but if all goes well, we are confident of implementing VAR in the SPL next year," he told FAS's website.
Top image from the Singapore Premier League's Facebook page and FAS