FFA welcomes Video Assistant Referees trial

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has welcomed the confirmation today by The IFAB and FIFA that the Hyundai A-League is among the first competitions world-wide to be accepted into the Video Assistant Referees (VARs) trial.

The Hyundai A-League now has permission to begin preparations for initial “offline” trials ahead of eventual “live” tests of VARs.

The VARs system will use video replays to check game-changing incidents, such as penalty kick decisions, red card explusions and goals scored from line-ball offside calls.

Competitions in Brazil, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United States will also join the first wave of trials.

Subject to the successful completion of initial tests, the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016 is also set to be used as a final test event before The IFAB allows participants to conduct live experiments early next year.  

FFA CEO David Gallop said the introduction of VARs is part of a rejuvenation of the Hyundai A-League.

“We have been at the forefront of pushing for more broadcast innovations in the Hyundai A-League and we embraced the VARs idea from the start,” said Gallop.

“The eventual introduction of VARs will be a breakthrough for referees in game-changing moments and will greatly enhance the experience for fans and viewers.

“In tandem with our brand refresh for the A-League, the introduction of a centralised Marquee Player Fund and the changes happening in the digital landscape, we can see a new era taking shape for the A-League.”

Gallop said the FFA project team would now go to the next phase of working with referees, clubs, coaches, players, broadcasters and stadium managers on the “offline” trials.