|Bùi Thị Thu Trang (centre) is set to make history as the first VAR referee of Việt Nam. Photo courtesy of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Bùi Thị Thu Trang is set to become Việt Nam's first Video Assistant Referee (VAR) after completing a FIFA course for video referees in Doha, Qatar.
All of those attending the course, 20 on-field and five VAR, are female. Trang is one of nine who are completely new to using VAR.
After the training course in Qatar, the 35-year-old referee took part in another VAR training session organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for female referees.
Trang was then assigned to the AFC Women’s Club Championship 2021 held in Aqaba, Jordan from November 2 to 14. She was the lead referee during a match between Shaher Dari of Iran and Gokulam Kerala from India on November 10, during which she was supported by the VAR on the sidelines to make crucial decisions.
After being consulted by the VAR, the Vietnamese referee reviewed the slow-motion playback and drew a yellow card and a red card for two Shaher Dari players.
This was the first football match with a VAR supporting a Vietnamese referee. Trang also became the first Vietnamese VAR referee to be trained by FIFA and AFC.
The training courses are part of a FIFA plan to encourage federations to send more female referees for training and matches.
“We will be using VAR in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. We really hope and are working hard to have more trained female VAR's,” said Kari Seitz, FIFA Head of Women’s Refereeing, who led the course.
“This is a transformative idea because there is only one league that has women’s football with VAR right now, and it’s only a few games.
“While our women are working more in men’s football, which is wonderful to see, very few are involved in the VAR projects. FIFA is working very hard and encouraging the member associations to increase this number.”
Trang is on a shortlist for selection for the Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. She missed an opportunity to attend VAR training in June.
After finishing the course, female Vietnamese referees are eligible to be chosen for two different positions in games, as the main or VAR referee. VNS