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Video replays coming to soccer

MLS (Major League Soccer) aims to be one of the first leagues to introduce video replays. The league hopes to implement the complete system for all its regular season games. However, it is under testing during pre-season games where it has already helped a decision.

The use of the video replay was during a game between the San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake. A referee awarded a penalty and then watched the replays on a video monitor to confirm the decision.

Officials floated two ideas for the use of video replays in soccer games. The first, much like the above example, involves displays on the side of the field where the referee can watch a replay of the incident. The other option is to refer decisions to a remote referee who uses video replaces and relays the decision back to the on-field referees. This is similar to the DRS system used in Cricket matches to appeal the decision by the umpires. However, in Cricket each team only have two chances to use the video replays to confirm or overturn a decision.

There is more testing in the pipeline before it becomes official for in-season games. Support for the technology is growing. Last week, the Spanish La Liga announced that they would add video replays for the 2018 season. This is believed to be due to their reluctance to pay for the investment in goal line technology. In addition, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he would like to see video replay used in the 2018 World Cup.

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