FIFA and the International Football Association Board approved a system to test video replay for certain calls today at the IFAB general meeting in Wales.
New FIFA president Gianni Infantino was there and spearheaded the move to bring more technological innovation to soccer. Following the agreement, Infantino said, “We have taken really a historic decision for football. FIFA and IFAB are now leading the debate and not stopping the debate. We have shown we are listening to the fans, the players.”
In a short period of time, goal line technology is already a staple of soccer and now there is potential for further technology in order to assist referees in making the correct call.
FIFA provided a great explanation on how the tests will be conducted. They will test replay in four areas, goal infringement, awarding a penalty, yellow/red card incidents and mistaken identity if the incorrect player is given a card.
There are apparently many nations around the world who are willing to experiment with video replay. The IAFB said that “12 leagues and one confederation are interested in staging live trials.” One of those could be the United States. While not confirmed for volunteering for these specific trials, MLS commissioner Don Garber said in January that he wants to launch trials and is willing to test out video replay in USL, the third division of United States soccer who has an affiliation with MLS with hope of future implementation in MLS.
The IAFB have also made rule changes concerning the “triple punishment” of giving a penalty, red card and suspension for a player who denies an opponent of a goal scoring opportunity as well as the ability for a player can also start a game by kicking in any direction rather than forward. The IAFB has also eliminated a loophole by allowing an injured player to receive treatment on the field and not have to temporarily leave of that tackle was due to a yellow card or red card offense. This will prevent the team who received the card to gain a temporary advantage as that injured player is off receiving treatment. Finally, in addition to tests for video replay, there will also be tests for having a fourth substitute in games that go to extra time. All in all, changes are definitely being made in Gianni Infantino’s first week on the job as FIFA president.