Video referee to assist at cup matches, Dutch claim a ‘world’s first’

football goal keeperWednesday night’s KNVB Cup match between Ajax and Willem II will be the first ever high-level game to use a video referee to check controversial decisions. The KNVB said in January it would begin experimenting with a video assisted referee system in, now that world football rules body IFAB is on the verge of giving the green light.

‘This is the first live test in an official top level competition,’ the KNVB said in a statement. 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 will be in touch via a headset. The video referee’s position is always advisory and the pitch referee will be responsible for the decision, the KNVB said.

The video referee can be called in to assist on penalties, red cards and goals involving a foul or offside. The teams on the pitch will not be able to request intervention as is the case with hockey.

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