VIDEO: Major League Soccer to Implement League-Wide Video Review Starting August 5

By  //  July 24, 2017

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Final decision belongs to ON-FIELD head referee

ABOVE VIDEO: Former World Cup referee Howard Webb, who serves as Manager of VAR Operations for the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), explains how video review will work in Major League Soccer and what four areas of the game are subject to review. 

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (Orlando City) – Major League Soccer confirmed late last week that beginning August 5, all MLS games, including the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup, will incorporate Video Review.

In compliance with procedures outlined by The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the universal decision-making body for the Laws of the Game, a fifth member of a game’s officiating crew, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), will be located in a video booth at the every MLS stadium during a match.

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will have access to all available broadcast angles and check all plays for potential clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents in four game-changing situations — goals, penaltydecisions, directredcards, and casesofmistakenidentity.

The introduction of Video Review into MLS league matches is the culmination of more than three years of extensive research and testing of video review technology by MLS and the Professional Referees Organization (PRO).

In addition to Video Assistant Referee-specific camps and education sessions, preparations have included more than 100 matches – both live in-game and offline tests – at stadiums around the country that have provided invaluable training opportunities for VARs and referees.

ABOVE VIDEO: Former World Cup referee Howard Webb, who serves as Manager of VAR Operations for the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), explains how video review will work in relation to goals scored during a match. 

MLS and PRO are among the pioneers of this initiative worldwide, partnering with the United Soccer Leagues (USL), to facilitate the first test in live competition, on Aug. 12, 2016 at Red Bull Arena.

The IFAB will conduct a two-year global study of the implementation of video review in various competitions before making a final decision about the incorporation of the Video Assistant Referee into Laws of the Game. A decision is expected in 2018, or 2019 at the latest.

Further information about the VAR project is available HERE.

ABOVE VIDEO: Former World Cup referee Howard Webb, who serves as Manager of VAR Operations for the Professional Referee Organization (PRO), explains how video review will work in relation to penalty kicks during a match. 

Click HERE to view the rest of Howard Webb’s videos on how the remaining two areas, red cards and mistaken identity will be used in video review.

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