Video review system could be used in English football next season

Mark Dobson
Manolo Gabbiadini has a goal ruled out for offside, mistakenly as replays showed, in Southampton’s EFL Cup final defeat against Manchester United. Photograph: TGSPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock

Video technology could be introduced into English football next season as early as the Community Shield, with FA Cup ties also being targeted as possibilities for its trial use.

The International Football Association Board is set to discuss live trials of video reviews, in matches scheduled by the Football Association, during its annual general meeting on Friday. The Wembley meeting will see the merits of technology outlined and the Ifab is expected to give the concept its approval in time for next year’s World Cup.

The FA initially considered offering this season’s Community Shield and FA Cup for the first trials of video assistant referees, before deciding against it. However, it is now clear that football is heading towards video technology and the FA recognises the need for change. The video assistants will help with instances of offside, penalty appeals, diving and cases of mistaken identity, although the final decision will rest with the referee.

The issue was thrust back into the spotlight during Sunday’s EFL Cup final at Wembley where Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside. Live tests are continuing in other countries, with France’s friendly with Spain at the Stade de France on 28 March a possibility to feature the technology.

The FA chairman, Greg Clarke, will oversee the Ifab meeting, which will also discuss the idea of sin bins for yellow card offences while the prospect of captains becoming the only onfield player allowed to talk to the referee is a distinct possibility.

The former referee David Elleray, who is now an Ifab technical director, told the BBC: “The captain should be more than somebody who has a piece of material on their arm. Can we consult them more about how the game should be played? Should we encourage much better relationships between the captains and players? Should the captain also bear more responsibility?

“If that stops six players from each team going to talk the referee that will enhance respect and improve respect for the game. When I was refereeing, sometimes you could say to a captain, ‘Have a word with Freddy because he’s getting quite close to a yellow card’ and he could calm him down.”

The Ifab will also talk about allowing national associations more freedom to decide on the number of substitutions in a game.

Hawk-Eye goalline technology has been in use in the Premier League since the start of the 2013-14 season.

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