Over the last years, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) systems has become a very popular solution for many football federations all around the world. More and more leagues and associations are delploying VAR systems to ensure more fair play and acurate refereeing decisions. The Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) understood the advantages of this solution and decided to implement a VAR system in 2022 designed and delivered by Broadcast Solutions.
The initial system consists of three Video Assistant Referee Video Operation Rooms (VAR-VOR) permanently installed in the stadium in Baku, completed by a mobile VAR system in a 3.5t transporter. Recently, Broadcast Solutions has delivered another mobile VAR unit to AFFA.
By deploying the project's first phase, the AFFA (Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan) has been officially certified by FIFA VAR.
The combination of a fixed VAR-VOR solution and a mobile VAR system became necessary to connect venues that are too far away from the VAR hub in Baku or do not have a dedicated fibre optic connection to the nationwide VAR system. AFFA can now be even more flexible in meeting the league's requirements with the second mobile VAR system.
Elkhan Samadov, President of the Azerbaijan Professional Football League, said: “We are pleased to have even more VAR systems at our disposal to ensure that all future matches are conducted as fairly and comprehensibly as possible.”
The VAR van, now handed over to AFFA, has been realised as a van with a total weight less than 3.5 tonnes, in order to ensure unrestricted driving availability. Three workstations are available in the van for a video referee, a video referee assistant and a replay operator.
Furthermore, the "Review Area" system consisting of a flight case, monitors, an AEQ TP8116 Intercom user panel and a stage box, which is placed on the sidelines of the football ground. With this solution, the referee is able to review certain scenes and also communicate with the video referee in the van.
AEQ equipment is installed in both locations to distribute the audio signals and intercom communications.
The equipment in the OBVan consists of an AEQ CrossNET intercom matrix and three AEQ TP8116 intercom user panels.
CrossNET is a compact, one rack unit high intercom matrix with basic IP connectivity, based on Dante™ technology, compatible with the AES67 standard, carrying high-quality audio suitable for broadcast. It also has high-quality balanced analog audio inputs and outputs.
In each room, three AEQ TP8116 intercom user panels have been installed. These are 1UR User panels with 16 programmable keys on 4 different pages. They have individual volume control for each communication crosspoint, DSP and ECO canceller. Apart from these features, TP8116 panels offers by default dual AoIP Dante / AES67 port, a VoIP port, a Digital port and an analog port. Each panel has 2 graphic displays, with the possibility of up to two lines of text for each key, a third line indicating the audio level at the crossing point.
The replay operator uses EVS' Xeebra multi-camera review system, which is equipped with AI technology to automatically calibrate the field of play and create a real-time virtual offside line (VOL). The EVS Xeebra system is provided to process up to eight video signals per match.
For the routing solution, both partners opted for KUMO systems from AJA. Radio systems with headsets from Vokkero are used for communication between the referees on the field and the video referees.
For more information about AFFA and the premier football league in Azerbaijan, please visit https://www.affa.az .
Info: www.aeq.eu & Calavitis SA *
* Distributor for Hellas
www.broadcast-solutions.de & AmyDV *
* Authorized partner for the sale, upgrade or re-build of vans for Broadcast Solutions and Distributor for LaON & hi human interface products in Hellas
Notes: Press Release - AEQ - June 2023