In the 2020/2021 season, a VAR will only be present in the cup tournament from the quarter-finals. The main reason for the KNVB not to introduce VAR in the KNVB cup in the previous rounds was the presence of amateur teams. Due to the corona virus, however, the amateurs have been removed from the tournament and these measures could therefore be lifted. But why has the KNVB not done this?
No VAR in the KNVB cup
The KNVB therefore gives as the main reason for the lack of the VAR the limited facilities of the amateur clubs. Many amateur clubs do not have the right or not enough cameras to show the matches properly. The KNVB felt that it was too difficult to arrange all these facilities and therefore decided not to use VAR at all. In order to give every club equal opportunities, it has been decided not to use the VAR in matches played in previous rounds at clubs such as Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord or AZ.
Schedule changes by Corona
However, due to the corona epidemic, a lot of adjustments have been required in football. In addition to the fact that an audience is no longer allowed to be present at the matches, the entire schedule has also been changed. At the beginning of this season, the KNVB decided to completely remove the amateurs from the tournament in order to prevent the spread of the virus among football players as much as possible.
VAR in the quarter-finals
Still, the VAR was only introduced in the quarter-finals of the tournament this season when no more amateur teams competed, and this sparked outrage among some clubs. AZ already complained earlier because they would have been considerably disadvantaged in the match against Ajax due to the lack of the VAR. AZ was eliminated against Ajax in the eighth final and faced a few questionable moments in this match. If the VAR had been present earlier, AZ might have been in the final instead of Ajax.
VAR KNVB Cup in Season 2021/2022
The final of this season will first be played between Ajax and Vitesse on the 18th of April. Ajax easily won against Heerenveen in the semi-final and Vitesse also won fairly easily against VVV. For next season, no official decisions have yet been made with regard to the VAR in the KNVB cup. The expectation is that the KNVB will allow the amateur teams in the cup program again. This would also mean that it will be another difficult story to use the VAR early in the tournament and that the Video Assistant Referee will not be used again until next season in the quarter-finals.