soccer ball-shaped decoration of the soccer Club World
Cup is displayed in Tokyo, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.
Real Madrid will be seeking to keep alive its chances
of a unique quadruple title haul when it travels to
Japan for the Club World Cup from Dec. 8-18.
Referees will be allowed to get help from video replays at
the Club World Cup in Japan in the first full live in-game
trial of the technology that could transform soccer.
could halt games to review footage of "game-changing
decisions" on pitch-side monitors or just rely on
information being fed by Video Assistant Referees (VARs)
watching broadcast feeds away from the field, officials said
experiments with replays were approved by soccer's lawmakers
in March, FIFA said "semi-live" trials in games
have taken place with some information being transmitted to
referees by VARs.
But on the
eve of the Club World Cup opener between Japanese side
Kashima Antlers and New Zealand's Auckland City, FIFA said
Thursday's game and the rest of the Club World Cup through
Dec. 18 would be used for an "important piece of
It is the
latest sign of FIFA belatedly embracing technology, four
years after the Club World Cup saw the first use of systems
to detect whether the ball has crossed the line for a goal.
important to remember that we are entering somewhat
unchartered territory here, given that we are going live for
the first time," said Marco van Basten, the former Ajax
and Milan forward who was hired as FIFA's chief officer for
technical development in September.
these tests should prove invaluable in terms of determining
whether the processes are sound or whether any further
refinements are needed."
The VARs in
a video operations room will only give information to the
main referee "to help correct any game-changing
decisions," the International Football Association
Board, the game's lawmaking body, said. These involve four
situations: goals being scored, penalties being awarded,
players being sent off and cases of mistaken identity.
significant development that will be new for many viewers,
the main referee may decide to review footage directly on a
pitch-side monitor — particularly for subjective
decisions, as opposed to factual ones where he can rely
solely on the information provided by the VAR," IFAB
said in a statement. "The philosophy underlying the
experiments is not to achieve 100 percent accuracy for all
decisions, as this would destroy the essential flow and
emotions of football.
The aim is
to achieve 'minimum interference, maximum benefit', with the
technology only being used for the defined match-changing
situations and any serious missed incidents. In these cases,
the question a VAR will consider is not 'was the decision
correct?' but 'was the decision clearly wrong?'"
still retain the authority to take the make the final
judgment. Managers and players will not be allowed to appeal
to referees to review an incident.
are set to be expanded globally in 2017 with a decision
anticipated by the following year on VARs becoming a
permanent feature in soccer. FIFA President Gianni Infantino,
who has observed recent off-line trials with VARs at Italy
games, wants video replays in use at the 2018 World Cup in
progress FIFA has made on this project, especially around
educating referees and ensuring all technical requirements
are met, has been impressive," IFAB technical director
David Elleray said.
which provided the goal-line technology at Euro 2016, is
being used by FIFA at the Club World Cup for the replays
World Cup also includes Champions League winner Real Madrid
and Copa Libertadores champion Atletico Nacional from