The International Football Association Board’s annual meeting on Saturday made a decision to initially test in private before moving to a live pilot phase with replay-assistance by the 2017-18 season.
FIFA’s new president took office promising to cut costs at the global soccer body and pass the savings along to member countries. “I can only say that I was elected by the FIFA Congress to be the leader of FIFA, to be leading FIFA, not to be the deputy to the general secretary”, he said.
Among the changes, the ball will be allowed to go in any direction at kickoff, more players will be permitted treatment on the field and referees will be urged to apply more common sense.
IFAB will have to approve all trials, with 13 leagues or associations already expressing an interest in hosting tests.
He said: “In an ideal world the referee would ideally see the footage directly and clearly in a few years time the technology would be available, but at this moment in time the referee may have to run to the halfway line to see something on an iPad.
I’m a pragmatic person”, Infantino told a news briefing on the sidelines of a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IAFB).
There are limitations, as it will only be used for goals – including offside calls – red cards, cases of mistaken identity and penalties.
Infantino is keen to show that Federation Internationale de Football Association has embraced a “new era” with the reign of his predecessor Sepp Blatter now over.
“I love the tradition of the IFAB, 130 years old, which protects the laws, but we can not close our eyes to progress and we have to move forward”.
And Infantino said IFAB and FIFA would make the technology unique to football, with rugby and cricket using video replays.
The Premier League, which has used goal-line technology since 2013, will await further guidance from the IFAB and FA, with trials not expected to be held in any top-flight game. Here we look at what that might mean for football.
A statement read: “The Premier League is supportive of trials for new technology which could assist match officials, provided it does not unduly disrupt the flow of the game”.
In the most significant rewriting of the laws of the game for more than 100 years, they also changed the rules on penalty kicks, the so-called triple punishment for denying goal-scoring opportunities and the match kick-off itself.
There will be at least two years of experiments before it is implemented in major tournaments. They will also talk about sin bins and the possibility of a fourth substitute being allowed in extra-time.