Allen Chapman - Mark Geiger - referees - 2015
USA Today Sports

IFAB announces experimental plan to introduce video replay in soccer matches

History was made on Saturday when the green light was officially given to experiment with instant replay in soccer matches. 

The international body that oversees the rules that govern the sport, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), on Saturday approved a plan to introduce live experiments with video assistant referees in games.

The announcement noted the experiments will be conducted for at least two years "in order to identify the advantages, disadvantages and worst-case scenarios." IFAB approved regulations on the video assistance in principle, with an eye for trying them out in game situations by 2017-18. Specifically, the experiment will include a video assistant referee who will either wait for the referee to ask for clarification on a given incident, or will reach out to the referee to point out an incident the referee may have missed.

IFAB's release also noted "the expectation is not to achieve 100 percent accuracy in decisions for every single incident, but to avoid clearly incorrect decisions that are pre-defined 'game-changing' situations – goals, penalty decisions, direct red card incidents and mistaken identity."

There's no word yet on which leagues will be directly involved in the video replay experiments, but MLS Commissioner Don Garber has previously expressed support for Major League Soccer one day implementing instant replay.

“We spoke to the [MLS Board of Governors] about how instant replay might work, we think it can work, we’d love to see it work,” Garber said in July.

“We’ve got to talk to U.S. Soccer, we’ve got to talk to FIFA, we’ve got to make sure the technology works, but you should know that MLS is a supporter of the idea.”