Major League Soccer will be among the first leagues in the world to experiment with video replay, the IFAB and FIFA announced on Thursday.
Goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents and “mistaken identity,” a call made on an incorrect player, will all be reviewable. Offline, dry runs will take place first, with the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup being used as a final test event before leagues begin to run live experiments.
“The IFAB believes the best way to answer the question of whether the use of VARs will improve the game is to test it in different regions, so we are delighted to already have competitions across four confederations sign up,” International Football Association Board secretary Lukas Brud said in statement. “The organizers of these competitions can now begin installing and testing video replay facilities as well as training match officials and technical staff in line with the protocol and in consultation with The IFAB and FIFA’s Football Technology Innovation Department.”
MLS, along with leagues in Germany, Brazil, Austria, the Netherlands and Portugal, will begin testing with video assistant referees, or VARs, to use in games some time after the beginning of the 2017 season. The VARs will become acclimated with the setup of the system and the judgment of replays in the meantime.