Ireland’s women’s team will have their first experience of VAR after Uefa confirmed it was introducing the concept for the World Cup playoff series.
Vera Pauw’s side will meet the winner of Thursday’s semi-final between Scotland and Austria on Tuesday week, either at Hampden Park or St Polten, for a potential place in the next July’s showpiece co-hosted by New Zealand and Australa.
The victor among the three deciders with the worst record from the regular qualifying and playoff final combined must navigate another playoff series, the intercontinental version, in New Zealand next February to clinch their place.
Ireland have yet to qualify for a major tournament but secured their first playoff since Euro 2009 by finishing second in Group A between top seeds Sweden and Finland.
VAR wasn’t used during those eight qualifiers but was a feature of the successful European Championships staged by eventual champions England over the summer.
Uefa said in a statement on Monday: “Video assistant refereeing (VAR) will be used in the upcoming European play-offs for the 2023 Fifa Women's World Cup, following on its use at all 31 matches of Uefa Women’s EURO 2022, the Uefa Women’s Champions League knock-out rounds and final last season as well as the finals in 2021 and 2020.
“The play-off matches start with round one October on 6, involving six teams; three more sides await the winners in round two on October 11.”
Fixtures Round 1 (October 6):
Portugal vs Belgium (18:00 CET) Wales vs Bosnia and Herzegovina (20:15 CET) Scotland vs Austria (20:35 CET).
Round 2 (October 11):
Portugal / Belgium vs Iceland (KO TBC) Scotland / Austria vs Republic of Ireland (KO TBC) Switzerland vs Wales / Bosnia and Herzegovina (19:00 CET).
All play-offs level after 90 minutes will go to extra time, and if necessary a penalty shoot-out.