After Thursday’s night controversial playoff game in Seattle, a new cry for instant replay has come up. FIFA and the international rules committee for soccer (IFAB) have created a trial, of which MLS is scheduled to be a part, that will look at specific incidents using video review. USL tested it this summer. Incidents involving goals, penalty decisions, straight cards, and mistaken identity can be reviewed.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of instant replay. In the NFL now, it seems to only resolve about half of the decisions that go to replay. Most replays are deemed to be inconclusive. Would soccer be the same?
Instead of replay, I think FIFA and the IFAB could run tests giving the fourth official access to video during the match. They could be given a monitor and buzzer to notify the center referee if anything is seen. The referees at a high level already use headsets to communicate, this would just give them another way to have more information to make decisions.
It would need testing and refining, but it could be less intrusive into a match’s rhythm and momentum.
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