History made, video assistance technology tested for the first time in FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016
An important piece of history was made at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016 in the match between hosts Kashima Antlers and Auckland City with video assistance being used to support referees with “match-changing” decisions for the first time in a FIFA competition.
Kashima Antlers advanced to the second round of the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup Japan after coming from a goal down to defeat Auckland City at the International Stadium Yokohama in the 100th Club World Cup fixture and the first to be played under the Video Assistance Technology.
The technology did not have much to do in the game between the OFC Champions League winners and the hosts as the game progressed smoothly but the FIFA tech team sees the massive advancement of technology in the biggest global sport.
“This represents a big step forward in terms of testing the technology,” says Marco van Basten, FIFA’s Chief Officer Technical Development.
“We feel well prepared after setting everything up with the support of The IFAB, the host broadcaster Dentsu/NTV and Hawk-Eye – one of a number of providers that offer such technology. At the same time, it’s important to remember that we are entering somewhat unchartered territory here, given that we are going live for the first time. Ultimately, these tests should prove invaluable in terms of determining whether the processes are sound or whether any further refinements are needed.”
This trial will involve video assistant referees (VARs) being given access to all broadcast feeds inside a video operations room, enabling them to provide information to the referee on the field of play in order to correct clear mistakes in “match-changing” situations. These include serious incidents including goals, penalty decisions, direct red cards and cases of mistaken identity. The VARs will play a supporting role along with the assistant referees and the fourth official, but the referee will continue to take the first as well as the final decision on the field of play.
The VAR system has been developed, just like goal-line technology, to provide additional support for the referee.
Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, USA are the chosen countries to test or run the trail of the Video Assistance Technology.
CAF Champions League winners and tournament-newcomers Mamelodi Sundowns will be the first African team to taste the Video Assistance Technology in Osaka’s Suita City Football Stadium on Sunday in their club World Cup opener against the hosts.
It is not yet clear on when will this technology be taken to task in Africa, especially the PSL – the richest soccer league in the continent