MLS, Bundesliga expect to introduce Video Assistant Refees by 2017

Tuesday December 13th, 2016

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Major League Soccer is aiming to implement Video Assistant Referees during the second half of the 2017 season after testing the system in the first part of the season, commissioner Don Garber said Friday.

And MLS is not alone, as Garber said he was “excited to be one of the few leagues in the world that will enact hopefully VAR in ‘17.” Bundesliga is also expected to introduce the VARs at the start of the 2017–18 season, former referee and current broadcaster Hellmet Krug told Sky Deutchland.

VARs are referees who have access to video review and can advise the referees on the pitch after a match-changing call is made. The final decision ultimately belongs to the officials on the pitch.

FIFA has tested the technology before and has progressed to live trials involving pitchside monitors available to referees during the current FIFA Club World Cup, though no VAR reviews during the tournament have been needed thus far.

The MLS is among a number of leagues that is looking forward to a day when the technology is ready to assist its referees, who are receiving training.

“When ready, this innovation will allow our league to be stronger, to will allow our referees to have better technology, to be able to support their decisions on the field or allow right decisions to be made,” Garber said.

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