LONDON (Reuters) - Football’s rule makers have decided to recommend trialling video replays next season to help referees with questionable goals, penalties, red cards and cases of mistaken identity.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) decided at their preliminary meeting on Thursday to recommend to their AGM in March that trials are begun with a view to the system becoming law in two or three years.
“The board were unanimous in proposing this to the AGM with a strong recommendation that trials start next season,” Stewart Regan, the chief executive of the Scottish FA and their representative on IFAB, told reporters.
“There are many details to be finalised, and we think the experiments will last between two and three seasons.”
IFAB, the game’s ultimate law-making body, was formed in 1886 and pre-dates world football’s governing body FIFA by 18 years. It consists of four members of FIFA and four members from the British associations.
David Elleray, the former Premier League referee who sits on IFAB’s technical sub committee, said: ”The main objective is to try to eliminate clear errors by the referee.
“You will never eliminate all errors from the game, but this is a major step forward in reducing those errors.”
IFAB approved the use of goalline technology in 2012 and since then there have been an increasing number of calls from players and managers to use video technology in other aspects of the game.
Jonathan Ford, the chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, who chaired Thursday’s meeting and will also chair the AGM, stressed that video replays would not be shown in the stadium.
He added that the exact way any future system would work is a long way from being finalised.
“The fluidity of the game is all important as is the ultimate authority of the referee,” he said.
“Whatever system is finally adopted, assuming it eventually is, must reflect both of those principles.”
A number of countries have expressed an interest in hosting the experiments including England.
Martin Glenn, the CEO of the English FA and their representative on IFAB, said matches in the FA Cup could be used for trials.
“It is all about balancing technology with an attractive consumer product,” he said. Regan added that he would be happy for trials to take place in Scottish FA Cup games.
IFAB are also considering the implementation of sin-bins, allowing a fourth substitute in extra time and overseeing a comprehensive modernisation of the laws of the game, reducing the law book from around 22,000 to 12,000 words.
Any change to the laws requires at least six IFAB votes in order to be approved.
editing by Toby Davis