Monday 27 June 2016, 14:58

Technology providers offering video replay systems meet in Zurich

Technology providers interested in taking part in IFAB-sanctioned experiments with video assistant referees (VARs) have met today at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.

Nine companies came to find out more about the experiments, which are due to start on an “offline” basis in August after the first participants were announced earlier this month.

FIFA is supporting The IFAB with technical expertise and research around the VAR experiments.

“Today’s meeting was an opportunity to update the providers on the project and discuss ways to potentially standardise VAR equipment,” said Johannes Holzmüller, Head of FIFA’s Football Technology Innovation Department.

“We also informed them about FIFA’s decision to install a VAR training centre at our headquarters here in Zurich. We are looking to set it up in the next months and are inviting different providers from around the world to showcase their technology at the facility.”

For this important project, FIFA’s Football Technology Innovation and Refereeing Departments will work closely to establish technical guidance for their match officials. The training centre will be used to educate selected VARs and referees for “offline” and “live” tests, particularly those that will officiate at matches where the experiments will be conducted, such as the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016. The IFAB and FIFA would also like to use it to improve the review process from a technological point of view, and to learn more about the differences between the systems that are currently on the market. Meanwhile, member associations and leagues interested in conducting experiments will also be offered opportunities to see the technology in action.

The meeting follows last month’s kick-off workshop for interested competition organisers, which The IFAB organised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Additional workshops will take place in the coming months that will offer technology providers as well as leagues and associations further details about the experiments and procedures. Following the trials, The IFAB is set to decide on whether or not VARs should be introduced to football in 2018 or in 2019.