World football governing body, FIFA, along alongside the International Football Association Board (IFAB), a body which sets the rules for football, has approved the use of video replays, also known as Video Assistant Referees (VARs), to review controversial plays during matches in specific leagues in view of a worldwide adoption in the nearest future.
According to Engadget, the trials are expected to begin early next year, but both FIFA and IFAB won’t decide if VARs will be a permanent fixture until the end of 2018 or 2019, ending the hope of technology enthusiasts that the world cup in Russia will be unique for a technology revolution.
According to IFAB, VARs will be help referees with crucial decisions such as penalty calls, direct red card incidents and, of course, goals.
The technology was first approved four years ago but it faced a stiff opposition from the immediate past FIFA administration that restricted its application to the goal line technology which can determine if the ball has crossed the goal line. Recall that it was adopted at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
13 world leagues have indicated interest to participate in the test phase. These includes the Major League Soccer, the German Bundesliga, Austria’s Hyundai A-League and several other competitions under the Brazilian, Dutch and Portuguese football federations.