Football could finally introduce live video replays to help referees as soon as 2018

Joe Hall
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Refs could consult video replays on contentious decisions (Source: Getty)

Football's lawmakers are set to give their backing to the introduction of live video replays to help referees make more accurate decisions during games.

The International Football Association Board (Ifab) is expected to signal the green light for trials of video replays to be introduced when it meets in Cardiff early next March.

Refereeing teams will be allowed to consult video replays to determine goals scored, red cards, penalties and issues of mistaken identity.

Goal-line technology - which has helped referees better determine whether the ball has crossed the line - was only approved by Ifab in 2012, but the law-making body could be set to embrace further developments after its success.

Read more: Football should follow rugby's lead and introduce TV replay

If video assistance technology is similarly successful after two seasons of live trials, it could be introduced permanently into the game as soon as 2018.

Following a meeting between representatives of the four home nations' football associations in London, a "strong recommendation" to experiment with trials will be put forward at the forthcoming Ifab meeting.

Ifab chair and chief executive of the Welsh FA Jonathan Ford said: "This a strong recommendation but, since this is a fundamental decision, it is appropriate that we give the AGM the opportunity to have a further discussion.

“There are still some sceptics and the only way we can have a full debate is with more information available to us. We can’t make such a fundamental decision without experimentation. It’s possible we could even end up saying we don’t want this for the game."

FA chief exec Martin Glenn suggested the FA Cup could be used for trials of the technology in England.

He said: “I’m very happy for things within my direct control – the English FA’s direct control – to be part of that. We are big supporters of the use of technology. So, what do we control? We control the FA Cup.”

British referees have previously expressed their desire for video technology to be introduced to enable them to avoid making incorrect decisions.

Last year referees' chief Mike Riley said: "We need to see what technology we can use to help get referees’ decisions more accurate. Football as a whole has to look at it.

“Technology doesn’t provide a solution to everything but we can all think of case where a quick reference to a video replay would help us get the decision right.”

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