Is Sepp Blatter taking a page out of the NFL's book with his latest recommended changes to the laws of the game?
In a speech at the annual FIFA Congress in São Paulo on Wednesday ahead of the start of the 2014 World Cup, the global soccer governing body's president mentioned two possible major changes for the sport, according to English journalist Richard Conway, who was at the event:
Blatter proposes 2 challenges for managers during a game and raises prospect of TV review for referees. Would need IFAB approval.— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) June 11, 2014
There was no further information as to how the challenges would work in soccer, considering the fluid nature of play in that sport.
The National Football League instituted a challenge system for coaches beginning in the 1999 season, to review certain kinds of plays called by referees. There have been modifications in the system in the interim, but it is still in effect in NFL games.
Instant replay has long been a hallmark in other sports, including football and basketball. Major League Baseball introduced it in 2008, but rolled out a much more comprehensive system this season. However, all of those sports have regular breaks in play during games, unlike soccer.
According to the current laws of the game, referees are not allowed to use any video evidence to make calls. That includes replays inside stadiums.