ZURICH – Soccer’s law-making body IFAB said on Monday a final decision on the use of the video replay system (VAR) designed to help referees make key decisions would be made in March.
VARs have been on trial in various competitions around the world, including Serie A, the Bundesliga and the Confederations Cup, since last year with mixed results.
An IFAB spokesman said that a full meeting of IFAB in Zurich on March 3 would give the verdict and if approved, would then pave the way for Fifa to use them at the World Cup in Russia in June.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has said on various occasions that he wants to use VARs at soccer’s flagship tournament.
However, trials involving VARs have not gone entirely smoothly and there are doubts about whether the problems can be ironed out for a major tournament such as the World Cup where many teams, officials and fans will not be familiar with the system.
Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said after a Serie A match last month that VARs had taken the excitement out of the game.
“Players don’t hug each other after scoring a goal any more, instead they look straight towards the referee,” he said. “For me, it’s removing the adrenaline and my enjoyment of football.”
IFAB said on Monday that it was encouraged by a study by Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven into the VAR trials.
According to the study, VAR has been used in 804 competitive games with an average of just under five checks by the video official per match.
“The vast majority were background checks which did not interfere with the game,” said the study.
The study said that 533 of those matches had no review, where play is stopped for either the referee or the video assistant to look at the replay.
Only 42 matches had more than one review.