FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is in favour of introducing video refereeing for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, after previously expressing fears it would break up games too much.
The head of world football’s governing body told Tuesday’s Le Parisien newspaper that he was sceptical at first about using video technology to assist referees in crucial decisions.
“But I have come to the conclusion after tests that this is not the case,” he said of his initial concerns that video use would slow down matches.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB), an independent body, approved video technology testing in March to be carried out over a two-year period.
“We will multiply (the tests) over the two-year period and decide in March 2018,” said Infantino. “I hope we will have video refereeing in time for the 2018 World Cup.”
Several countries including France, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands have been selected to conduct the tests.
The move to bring in video technology follows the widespread introduction of goal-line technology, which was used at the 2014 World Cup and this year’s Champions League and Europa League finals.
The assistant video referee helps officials during difficult decisions such as penalties, free-kicks and off-side rulings.