Video replays will be used at the World Cup for the first time and talks are underway with potential sponsor branding to appear when the technology is used, a FIFA executive said on Monday.
Soccer’s rule-making panel met to assess recent trials ahead of video assistant referees (VAR) being officially approved by FIFA for use in Russia in June and July.
“Definitely VAR will happen,” FIFA chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h told The Associated Press. “It’s great to have technology in football because this is also a fair(ness) thing.”
Referees were assisted for the first time by high-tech aids at a World Cup in 2014 when goal-line technology was used. That system sees a message instantly flash on referees’ watches saying only whether the ball crossed the line.
Video replays could lead to delays in games in Russia as different angles are reviewed, presenting an opportunity for FIFA to brand up the segment on the global broadcast feed.
“We are talking to various technological companies who are very interested with what we are doing on the technology side of things,” Floc’h said on board the World Cup trophy tour plane during a stop at London Stansted Airport.
The final decision on allowing replays to become part of the rules of the game falls to the International Football Association Board on March 2 when its annual meeting is held at FIFA.
Replays are used when there is a “clear and obvious error” involving goals, penalty awards, red cards, and mistaken identity.