Video assistant referees to be tested in official soccer matches at KNVB Cup

Wednesday September 21st, 2016

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The Video Assistant Referee for soccer will get its first test in official matches this week during the KNVB Cup in the Netherlands, according to the Royal Dutch Football Association.

The referee on the field will be in contact with the video referee via headset when Ajax faces Willem II on Wednesday and also on Thursday when Feyenoord takes on FC Oss. The video referee can assist on calls including penalties, red cards and goals in dispute due to infractions or offsides calls.

The tests will take place at stadiums that have experienced previous tests. KNVB director Gijs de Jong said in a statement the video referee for his organization had been in the works since 2011.

FIFA conducted a “semi-live” test of the referees three weeks earlier in a friendly between France and Italy. In that test, the Video Assistant Referee could communicate information through radio communications to assist the referee “in the event of a clear error in a match-changing decision or a serious missed incident.” The test was deemed “semi-live” because the match official was unable to review incidents while on the field.

The FIFA test involved Dutch match officials to complete the task, citing their “high-level training and broad experience on Video Assistant Refereeing.” Dutch referee Danny Makkelie was used in the FIFA test and will now be a part of the latest test in the Netherlands.

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