FIFA to roll out video refs at U20 World Cup in South Korea

May 19 – The Under-20 World Cup, which runs from this Saturday to June 11 in six South Korean cities, will be the first FIFA youth tournament to employ video assistant referees but the world governing body’s head of refereeing has cautioned against its over-use.

FIFA has already used video technology at the Club World Cup in Japan last November and at press conference in Seoul, Massimo Busacca made it clear he doesn’t want the system to be relied upon in too many facets of the game.

VARs, expected to come into force for next year’s World Cup, are only permitted to rule on disputed goals, penalties, red card incidents and cases of mistaken identity.

“We’re talking only about clear mistakes,” Busacca said in Jeonju, where the opening match will be held. “I strongly recommend referees don’t look into every single situation of the game.”

If the system gets out of hand and is used in “normal situations,” he said, it will hurt the nature of the sport. “If we open this door, we will kill football. We’ll see only 20 minutes, instead of 50 minutes (of actual playing time).”

For every match at the U-20 World Cup, there will be two VARs given access to all broadcast feeds inside a video operations room.

“The group of VARs have the same level (of experience) as the referees who are on the pitch,” Busacca said. “They are top referees and are candidates for refereeing the most important competitions of FIFA.”

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