First it was goal-line cameras, now more technology is coming to football. From controversial goals to penalty decisions, the world's biggest sport is on the verge of a momentous change.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has approved testing of video technology to aid match officials, with 13 leagues or associations already expressing an interest.
The trials will allow referees to call on the video assistance to help determine four categories of game-changing moments: goals scored, red cards, penalties and mistaken identity. IFAB rejected allowing coaches to have appeals where videos of incidents could be examined.
"We have taken really a historic decision for football," said new FIFA president Gianni Infantino at a press conference in the Welsh capital, Cardiff.
Experiments will be carried out over a two-year period starting no later than the 2017/18 season before a final decision is taken on whether to adopt the technology permanently. There will be a pre-testing phase with an experiment in a controlled non-live environment as well as referee trainings, workshops, and two testing phases across a number of competitions/leagues, according to an IFAB statement.
"We have shown we are listening to the fans, players, to football. We are applying common sense. Of course we have to be cautious but we are also open to taking concrete measures," added the new FIFA boss, keen to show that FIFA has embraced a "new era" with the reign of his predecessor Sepp Blatter now over.
The decision to introduce video technology follows the widespread introduction of goal-line technology, which was used by FIFA at the 2014 World Cup and will be used by UEFA at this season's Champions League and Europa League finals, as well as at Euro 2016.
jh/rd (AP, AFP, dpa)