Video Ref decision delay as IFAB runs into December meeting date conflicts

Video referee

By Andrew Warshaw

October 26 – Football’s lawmakers look set to postpone their annual business meeting in Abu Dhabi where the main focus of attention was to have been video technology.

It is understood that IFAB, comprising the four British associations and FIFA, will almost certainly have to call off its scheduled mid-December session due to unavailability so close to Christmas and that a January replacement date will be sought instead.

Traditionally the business summit takes place in the autumn with recommendations drawn up to present to the IFAB’s main annual general meeting the following spring. But this year’s meeting was pushed back to December in an attempt to tie in with unrelated FIFA meetings.

Several countries are trialling video technology, including France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. But following a raft of questionable video assistant referees (VARs) rulings, there is mounting evidence that more work needs to be done in order to ensure the technology does not prove counter-productive.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has made no secret of the fact that he wants VARs to be used at the World Cup in Russia in order to rectify game-changing mistakes. A firm decision on whether to authorise their use is expected to be made at the next IFAB AGM in Zurich in March but critics say there is not nearly enough proof that the process works properly.

“We’ve all said we wanted to review the results of the experiments in detail at the business meeting before any decisions are made at the AGM,” said one source. “But it looks like this won’t happen until January. We have to find another date that everyone can do.”

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