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Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci assesses video footage during Real Madrid’s game against Al Jazira at the Club World Cup semifinals, December 13, 2017.
Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci assesses video footage during Real Madrid’s game against Al Jazira at the Club World Cup semifinals, December 13, 2017.

IFAB Recommends VARs for World Cup, All Club Competitions

IFAB Recommends VARs for World Cup, All Club Competitions

Video replays to correct refereeing mistakes are set to be recommended for use at this summer’s World Cup -- and everywhere else next season -- at a key meeting in Zurich on January 22.
According to ESPN, the five members of football’s law-making body, the International Football Association Board, are gathering at FIFA’s headquarters in Switzerland for their annual business meeting. This meeting will set the agenda for IFAB’s annual general meeting, which is where changes to football’s laws are approved.
Football is arguably the last of the major global sports to fully embrace video technology but, having finally decided to trial video assistant referees in 2016, the decision at IFAB’s annual general meeting in Zurich on March 2 is now widely believed to be a formality.
Those trials have taken place in 15 national leagues, including the Bundesliga, Major League Soccer and Serie A, as well as several FIFA competitions, and their results have been analyzed by Belgium’s top university KU Leuven.
IFAB will publish the most recent data from the pilots in the week before the Jan. 22 meeting, and it is expected to show that decisions have been corrected once every three games and the average time taken on each review has been greatly reduced as officials have become more used to the system.
FIFA has made no secret of its desire to use VARs at Russia 2018 and has already, in its view, successfully trialed them at several age-group tournaments, two Club World Cups and last summer’s Confederations Cup.
IFAB’s plan for video reviews is that they are only used in four circumstances: to decide if goals should be awarded, penalty decisions, red-card incidents and rare cases of mistaken identity.

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