FIFA president Gianni Infantino visited one of the sites for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. As part of his mission to Russia, Infantino stressed the need to have video replay to help referees make correct decisions and wants to utilize replay for the next World Cup.
Amid multiple instances of referees getting what appeared to be easy calls wrong, video replay has been put more and more on the forefront by fans and officials alike in order to help referees to make the correct call. The International Football Association Board is going to start a two-year experimental phase to see if replay is a realistic concept for soccer matches.
Obviously, since there are no natural stoppages in soccer, video replay cannot be used in every call so video replay would only be used at times where there are likely going to be stoppages of play right after and give someone time to review and make a decision. As of now, replay will be used for goals (automatically done with the goal decision system), red cards, mistaken identities and penalties.
Infantino spoke about video replay, saying that they will know whether or not they can officially utilize replay by March 2018.
Infantino said, “I really hope that the World Cup in Russia will be the first World Cup where video refereeing is used to make refereeing maybe better.”
In addition, UEFA is instituting the Hawk-Eye camera system used for goals for the Euro 2016 tournament this summer.
This is a sharp difference to Infantino’s former boss and predecessor when it comes to video technology. Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was reluctant to use goal line technology in FIFA tournaments but relented for use in league play. Goal line technology was used for the first time in a FIFA tournament at the Women’s World Cup last year. Former UEFA president Michel Platini, Infantino’s boss when he was general secretary, didn’t feel goal line technology was needed and instead preferred to use a fifth official at each endline to be right at the goal line and determine whether a goal has been scored or not.
Things seem to be slowly transforming to a more modern game now that Infantino is in charge. He obviously is going to need support of others within FIFA but if they are satisfied with the experiment, expect to hopefully see less controversy regarding referee calls at the World Cup.