Following a string of successful in-game tests, FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he wants to use video replay in next year’s World Cup.
Infantino argues the sport will only benefit from the use of video replay, which provides the center ref with assistance during in-game situations.
“In 2017, when everyone in the stadium or at home can see within seconds if the referee made a mistake, we can’t have a situation where the only one who can’t see it is the referee,” Infantino said.
Video replay was used during the Club World Cup last year, and most recently during a high-profile friendly between Spain and France, in which the technology twice played an important role.
According to Infantino, video replay has received nothing but positive feedback thus far. Didier Deschamps, the head coach of the French national team, agreed that the system used in his team’s friendly against Spain worked well and didn’t disrupt the game.
“If it is verified and it is fair, why not?” he said about video replay following his team’s loss to Spain.
Despite being several hundred years old, the sport has been slow to adopt new technology. Critics say introducing technology only disrupts the sport’s spirit, though the recent match between France and Spain proved otherwise. It only took a few seconds for the center referee to make a decision once video replay technology was called into action.
Even though there have been successful test runs, Infantino acknowledged “little hiccups” still needed to be ironed out before video replay could be used in the World Cup.
Over the past few years, the sport has slowly come around to the idea of technology, with goal-line systems used by a number of major leagues, including the Premier League in England, where it has helped referees make crucial decisions.
With video technology in play, situations such as the infamous Frank Lampard “goal” in the 2010 World Cup could be avoided.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which governs the rules of the game, will still need to confirm the decision before video replay can be used in the competition.