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Early testing of video replays in the Bundesliga proves promising

The first stage of testing for the use of video replays to assist referees in the Bundesliga has been successful, according to the DFB and the DFL. The Bundesliga is one of several leagues testing the system.

Ronny Zimmermann, the German football association's (DFB) vice president responsible for refereeing told reporters in Frankfurt on Monday that the initial phase of testing had demonstrated the effectiveness of video replays in correcting wrong decisions.

"There were 44 clearly wrong decisions before the winter break, from which the video referee could have clarified 33," Zimmermann said. 

So far, the video assistants have been undergoing training, monitoring live Bundesliga games at a broadcast center in the western city of Cologne, but they have not been able to influence any refereeing decisions.

"The only thing which is currently outstanding is there is still no communication between the video assistants and the referee on the pitch," Zimmermann said.

The project is to switch to a live-testing phase at the start of the 2017-18 season, when  the video assistants will be linked up with the on-pitch referees and be able to influence major disputed decisions.

"The boss on the pitch remains the referee. We are talking of additional assistants," Zimmermann stressed.

Goal-line technology

Video assistants could be called in to clarify whether a goal stands or not

Only in certain situations

According to a statement posted on the website of the German Football League (DFL), which operates the Bundesliga, the video assistants would only be called into action in four situations; when there are irregularities in the awarding a goal, if a referee gets a decision to award or deny a penalty wrong, for offenses that should have led to a red card, or in cases of mistaken identity regarding a booking or sending off.

The plan is for zones be set up in the stadiums to allow the assistants to review incidents on video screens, but they could also watch the feed remotely in Cologne.

The International Football Association Board, which is in charge of making any rule changes to the sport, gave the go-ahead last March for video replays to be tested and Germany is one of a dozen countries that are taking part in the project. Video replays were also tested at last month's FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

pfd/rt (SID, dpa)

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