Football video referee proves his worth, spots the first red card

football goal keeperThe use of a video referee in Wednesday night’s cup tie between Ajax and Willem II immediately proved its worth by confirming a red card, commentators said.

Willem II player Anouar Kali became the first player to be sent off on the basis of the advice of a video referee. Pitch referee Danny Makkelie originally gave him a yellow card for a foul on Lasse Schöne but changed his mind and went for red after video referee Pol van Boekel watched the move again in slow motion.

‘This is absolute proof of the use of the video referee because otherwise I would had to admit missing a red card,’ Makkelie said after the game, which Ajax won 5-0.

The video refereeing system was also used in approving a Riechedly Bazoer goal.

Wednesday’s tie was the first live test in an official top level competition following Fifa’s approval for the experiment in March.

On Thursday, there will be a second test at the cup tie between Feyenoord and FC Oss.

The referee on the pitch and the referee with the video screens are in touch via a headset. The video referee’s position is always advisory and the pitch referee is responsible for the decision. The teams on the pitch will not be able to request intervention as is the case with hockey.

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