Bundesliga clubs vote to keep VAR for next season, uphold hotly-debated '50+1' ownership rule

Berlin: Germany's Bundesliga clubs on Thursday voted to keep using the video assistant referee (VAR) next season and to retain the hotly-debated '50+1' rule — essentially curbing outside investment.

Despite considerable teething problems — confusion about why decisions are made and lengthy delays — Germany's top 18 clubs unanimously voted to keep the VAR for next season with only one abstention.

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Borrusia Moenchengladbach vs Schalke 04 - Borussia-Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - December 9, 2017 General view of the big screen as referee Sascha Stegemann uses video assistance (VAR) REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE DURING MATCH TIME TO 15 PICTURES PER GAME. IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO IS NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TIME. FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050 - RC188BA2DD00

General view of the big screen as the referee uses video assistance (VAR) during a Bundesliga match. Reuters

The VAR had been trialled in Germany this season and despite plenty of negative feedback — World Cup winner Sami Khedira branded it a "disaster" — the system will be used again in the Bundesliga in 2018/19.

Also at the meeting in Frankfurt, the 36 professional teams in Germany's top two tiers voted to retain the 50+1 rule, which ensures clubs retain a majority share to prevent outside investors taking control.

The rule has been hotly debated amidst fears Bundesliga clubs are losing ground to their rivals in France, England, Italy and Spain, where outside investors can take control and provide massive funding.

The German Football League (DFL) had wanted the future of the '50+1' rule to be discussed at the Frankfurt meeting.

However, an approved motion, tabled by Hamburg-based St Pauli, means the only discussion that will now take place will be how the rule can be tightened legally.

"Those who really like football can enjoy this result. I think that was a great sign from the meeting and we are not alone with our satisfaction," beamed St Pauli chief executive Andreas Rettig.

"We must not put our hands in our laps now — we must get greater legal certainty."

However, some German clubs had wanted the rule relaxed to encourage investment and Christian Seifert, the CEO of the DFL, was clearly irritated.

"I generally find this rule a little excessive," he said.

"We'll see if it's possible to keep them (the clubs) compatible with their goals and whether that's going to be legal."

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Updated Date: Mar 23, 2018 10:30:36 IST

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