FIFA looks set to decide to use Video Assistant Referees (VAR) during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which will be held between 14 June and 15 July. The implementation of video refereeing would represent a controversial milestone in the history of the competition.
IFAB to discuss VAR use
The authorities will discuss the matter in Zurich on 22 January, when the International Football Association Board (IFAB) meet. The IFAB is responsible for regulating the Laws of the Game. Gianni Infantino and FIFA are clear in their position: they want VAR.
FIFA has already rolled out VAR in various tournaments, including the Under-20 World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and and Club World Cup. Despite ongoing controversy, FIFA remains in favour.
"We will have had approaching 1,000 matches which have used it one way or another," said the IFAB technical director David Elleray.
"Generally I think it has gone much better than people have anticipated and almost every week we get an inquiry from another league about using VARs," he added.
VAR already used in Italy and Germany
VAR is already used in Serie A and the Bundesliga, and also debuted in the English FA Cup on Monday evening when Brighton and Hove Albion hosted Crystal Palace. LaLiga is the only major European league that does not use any form of technology to aid referees.
Goal-line technology was used in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. In Russia it appears likely that the integration of technology in football will go one step further: there will be VAR.