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Two and half years more of suffering and frustration, says coach Vukomanovic on the wait for VAR in ISL

Being clinical: Vukomanovic says his side won’t be complacent when it faces Hyderabad on Saturday.

Being clinical: Vukomanovic says his side won’t be complacent when it faces Hyderabad on Saturday.
| Photo Credit: Stan Rayan

A lot of good things appear to be happening in Indian football these days.

Arsenal’s legendary coach Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development, was in the country recently to guide the national body AIFF. The AIFF-FIFA Talent Academy was opened in Odisha. India beat Kuwait for its first victory in 22 years in a World Cup qualifier on foreign soil. There were even talks from the national federation that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology could be introduced in the 2025-26 season of the ISL.

The progress appears to be good, but should the pace of progress be faster?

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“Yes, absolutely. I saw the information that the VAR technology will arrive in two and a half years, so it means two and half years more of suffering, frustration and hoping that the improvement will be there,” said Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic, on the eve of Saturday’s ISL match against Hyderabad FC at the Nehru Stadium here.

“But I can see that this technology has been present worldwide in football for around six, seven years. Maybe it should be faster, but again, it’s not up to us, it’s about the federation and how it wants to attract and improve things. It’s okay, let’s follow that path. Nobody knows what can happen in two and a half years.

“And again, that’s a promise that was made last year, a promise that VAR will be in this year. That’s not the case, so we have to deal with it when the time comes, till then we will try to do our best.”

While KBFC is in the second rung in the 12-team table with 13 points, winless Hyderabad is languishing in the 11th spot with 3 points.

But Vukomanovic made it clear that it would be dangerous to be complacent.

“That’s the biggest trap in professional sport. You will be in trouble if you start thinking about the situation your opponent is in, so you have to be focused. It is a good team… it was a tough game every time we faced Hyderabad in the last two years,” added the Serb.

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