London - Soccer's rule-makers are discussing whether to approve trials of
video replays to assist referees who find it harder to keep up with the faster,
The International Football Association Board first approved
technology in 2012 that was limited to systems determining whether the ball
crossed the goal-line.
But the FIFA-dominated panel met on Thursday in London to decide
whether to allow the first official in-game tests with video replay systems
that could, for example, help to inform referees on whether a penalty should be
awarded, a player should be sent off, or consider violent conduct they might
It is "physically harder for referees to keep up," and
high-tech assistance is proving essential, English Football Association chief
executive Martin Glenn said.
"It's trying to get consensus on how we can best use
technology to help referees," Glenn said in an interview with The Associated
Press ahead of the IFAB meeting. The game has never been faster, referees have
never been fitter but players are getting quicker.
"So those difficult snap-shot decisions at high speed are
ones where we think, and certainly the English FA would think, technology might
help and we've just got to test that."
The Dutch federation has been testing technology where officials
watching on television could feed live information to referees. As an IFAB
member, England is keen to host trials, having tested goal-line technology
during a friendly in 2012 at Wembley Stadium.
"We will look back in 15-20 years' time and wonder how we
never had it," Glenn said. "We are probably at a point where human
endurance can't go much further so, at that point, if you can balance the flow
of the game with smart use of technology, why wouldn't you?
"Technology can certainly help but we don't want to ruin
the flow and the simplicity of the game which is something to be really
FIFA controls half of the eight votes on IFAB, which also
features four United Kingdom football associations. A motion requires at least
six votes to be approved.
The IFAB meeting was also discussing the merits of sin-bins,
allowing temporary substitutions for injuries that require "momentary
treatment," and a fourth substitute in extra time.
"Given the intensity of the game, you think a fourth
substitute might be a good idea," Glenn said.