Video technology will be used at the World Cup for the first time and talks are underway with potential sponsors to appear when the technology is used, a Fifa executive said on Monday.
VAR has been trialed this season in countries such as Italy, Germany and England, and is now going to be included at the World Cup in Russia, according to FIFA’s chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h.
Soccer’s rule-making panel met to assess recent trials ahead of video assistant referees (VAR) being officially approved by FIFA for use in Russia in June and July.
“Definitely VAR will happen,” FIFA chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h told The Associated Press. “It’s great to have technology in football because this is also a fair(ness) thing.”
Referees were assisted for the first time by high-tech aids at a World Cup in 2014 when goal-line technology was used. That system sees a message instantly flash on referees’ watches saying only whether the ball crossed the line.
Video replays could lead to delays in games in Russia as different angles are reviewed, presenting an opportunity for FIFA to brand up the segment on the global broadcast feed.
“We are talking to various technological companies who are very interested with what we are doing on the technology side of things,” Floc’h said on board the World Cup trophy tour plane during a stop at London Stansted Airport.
The final decision on whether VAR is approved for use at the World Cup will be made by IFAB, football’s rule-making body, at their annual meeting on March 2.
IFAB consists of FIFA and the four British associations (the FA, SFA, IFA and FAW). FIFA has four votes and the British FAs have one vote each.
A minimum of six votes are needed to pass any laws of the game.
Replays are used when there is a ‘clear and obvious error’ involving goals, penalty awards, red cards, and mistaken identity.