The use of video technology is set to be the next biggest innovation in modern football.
According to the Daily Mail, video assistance is to be implemented on a trial basis in the lower English divisions in order to help referees make better decisions.
After looking at the efficiency of different methods, the Football Association will then decide whether the technology should be expanded to the higher English leagues and eventually other countries.
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The technology is designed to assist referees in making crucial decisions with regards to red cards, penalties and mistaken identity among other important calls.
After the success of goal-line technology in the Premier League, the Football Association is eager to implement video technology to avoid controversy with respect to real time decisions, making the referee's task easier.
Need for technology
Incidents on the field are often reviewed after the game and real time decisions are overturned after careful scrutiny. Decisions such as red cards and occurrences of misconduct are the most reviewed incidents.
In a bizarre altercation in 2014, Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs was mistakenly sent off by referee Andre Marriner for a goal-line handball following a shot from Chelsea's Eden Hazard. The offense was actually committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and everyone other than the referee saw it.
Although these are rare occurrences, the implications of these mistakes can be big in a game, whereby highlighting the need for video assistance.
On numerous occasions, straight red cards have been overturned which were wrongly given to a player. It will be interesting to see whether the technology would be used to decide yellow cards and regular fouls as well.
Other events where technology could prove vital are incidents of misconduct such as Luis Suarez biting Branislav Ivanovic, which can be caught during the game.
Decisions regarding penalties and serious fouls might require some sort of discretion even with the aid of video technology. Commentators are often caught in two minds while analysing certain fouls, even with the aid of multiple replays.
The job is only harder for referees where they will have to make crucial decisions within a small space of time in order to keep the game flowing.
Initially, use of video assistance would mean that decisions might take slightly longer to make. However, the period for the trial use is two years which would allow officials to streamline the process and reduce the time to make difficult decisions.
It is yet to be determined how the technology will be used and how video assistance would be communicated to the referee.
The fourth official might have a greater role when it comes to this innovation, where he could work closely with the referee after looking at replays.
The arrival of such technological advancements is exciting and would undoubtedly make referees' jobs easier - but will it make its way to the Premier League? Only time will tell.
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