In a May 2016 post entitled “Technology in soccer”, I wrote that “Now that (video recording and replay) technology is available (through smartphones) to everyone in the heat of the moment, the power is shifting from FIFA to the fans. I think that the fans will eventually vote to preserve the true spirit of soccer (by using video recording and replay technology to help referees make the right in-game decisions)”.
Fast forward about a year and video recording and replay technology is indeed being used to help referees make the correct in-game decisions. Specifically, in yesterday’s 3rd place Confederations Cup game between Portugal and Mexico, the referee paused the game to use video assistant referee technology to correctly award Portugal a penalty.
While using the video assistant referee causes a momentary delay in the game, it’s well worth the resulting benefit of promoting fairness in the sport. Well done FIFA.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a video of the video assistant referee as used in yesterday’s game, but here’s a video of the first time that it was used in Australia’s top soccer league, the A-League.