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Video Ref Trialled

We have seen it in the sport of Rugby League, and now FIFA is trialling its Video Assistant Referees.

The new system was tested in Russia’s St Petersburg yesterday, just two days before the opening of the Confederation Cup.

The tournament will be the first major senior international football competition where the new system will be used.

FIFA head of refereeing, Massimo Busacca said the system would support referees make faster decisions on the pitch on match days.

The technology aims to improve quality of refereeing using video replays and off-pitch video assistant referees who watch the game inside a special room at the stadium with access to all camera angles on the pitch.

The referee communicates with them during the match.

To see how efficient the VAR system is, referees asked players to intentionally commit fouls and for referees to overlook them.

FIFA said the VARs will help referees make “match-changing” decisions, but referees on the pitch remain the first and final decision makers.

In March 2016, soccer’s law-making body IFAB approved a two-year trial of the VAR system to help match officials review key decisions.

Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United States have tested out the systems.

A friendly between Italy and France in September 2016 saw the first international test use of VAR.

The final decision on the introduction of VAR will be taken in 2018.

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