A trial of using video assistants “to avoid clearly incorrect decisions” will occur by the 2017-18 season at the latest.
The development was confirmed in a meeting of the International Football Association board in Cardiff on Saturday, and follows the prediction of newly-elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino earlier in the week.
While implementing these changes into the game, one of the chief intentions is to not disrupt football’s flow.
“The expectation is not to achieve 100 percent accuracy in decisions for every single incident, but to avoid clearly incorrect decisions that are predefined “game-changing” situations – goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents, and mistaken identity,” a media release on FIFA.com reads.
The match officials would refer to a video assistant referee at their own discretion when a close call occurs, but would also be notified of when they have made an error, such as brandishing a card to the wrong player.
The trials of the video technology are expected to run over a period of at least two years “to identify the advantages, disadvantages, and worst-case scenarios.” The comprehensive research and findings will be conducted by a chosen university.
Other suggested rule changes and experiments at the meeting included:
- The word count of rules reduced and gender neutral language used throughout the rule book.
- The ball can move in any direction from kick-off, rather than just forward.
- A player hurt by a challenge punished by a card can now receive assessment-treatment on the field rather than off the pitch, which provided the opposition a numerical advantage.
- New wording underway for the “triple punishment” ruling of sending off, penalty, and suspension for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.
- Experimentation planned of introducing a fourth substitution when a match goes into extra time.
These tweaks will come into effect on June 1, 2016.
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