Fifa, soccer’s world governing body, has appointed Hawk-Eye, the UK-based broadcast and technology company famous for its goal-line technology, as its video assistant referee provider for a range of forthcoming competitions, including this year’s Confederations Cup scheduled for 17 June to 2 July in Russia.
Fifa will also test the technology at the Fifa U-20 World Cup in Korea on 20 May to 11 June and the Fifa Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on 6 to 16 December.
Fifa’s announcement follows what it described as “a comprehensive tender process, when interested technology providers were invited to submit their proposals. The relevant departments within Fifa examined the use of VAR technology during former trials at the Fifa Club World Cup 2016 in Japan and various tests done in international friendly games.”
In March last year, Fifa’s International Football Association Board approved a two-year period of “live experiments with video assistance for clear errors in match-changing situations” involving a video assistant referee, who will be a match official, to determine if “the implementation of VARs improves the game.”
Fifa added: “During the trials in the upcoming mentioned FIFA competitions, the task is to examine how the VAR system impacts on the behaviour of players, the behaviour of referees, the response of fans in the stadium and the response of people watching on television. It will be a great deal of further information that The IFAB needs before it takes a final decision on the implementation of VARs in 2018, or 2019 at the latest.”
Zvonimir Boban, Fifa’s deputy secretary general, said: “Fifa is confident that the choice of Hawk-Eye as the VAR technology provider for the upcoming Fifa tournaments will satisfy the technological requirements needed for such an important innovation which is aimed at enhancing integrity and fairness in our game.”
Hawk-Eye’s goal-line technology was used in last year’s Uefa Champions League final, plus England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A, and was in place for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup held in Canada.
The technology was also used at all 10 venues at last year’s 24-team European Championships in France.