Video technology seems to be slowly gaining a lot of importance in football and it is proving to be a huge success, and at this point it's only a matter of time before it is regularly used in the sport. FIFA have been contemplating for a while now if they should use it regularly in matches and have been trying it out in friendly games, with the France vs Spain match the most recent to use it.
The first use of the video technology in the match was when Antoine Griezmann had headed in a goal from a Layvin Kurzawa cross to give France the lead. However, after referee Felix Zwayerv consulted with his video assistant, the goal was disallowed as the video showed Kurzawa was slightly offside when he received the ball.
The decision to overturn the goal took just about 30 seconds with the video assistant referee (VAR) sitting in a truck outside the Stade de France pitch. David Silva then gave Spain the lead from the penalty spot after Laurent Koscielny fouled Gerard Deulofeu.
The second use of the video technology came in the 77th minute, after AC Milan attacker Deulofeu scored a goal following a low cross from Jordi Alba. The goal was ruled as offside by the linesman. But once again after consulting with his video assistant, the replay showed that Deulofeu was in fact onside and the offside decision was overturned, with Spain awarded the goal.
It took about a minute for the match officials to come to this decision, but it still goes a long way to prove that video technology is beneficial to the game, and helps in getting the ket decisions right. The match at the Stade de France was part of a video replay trial that was approved prior to the encounter by the French and Spanish associations, as well as by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
The first time a video assistant referee was used was in September of last year when France played Italy in a friendly, which they won 3-1. It was also used at the FIFA Club World Cup and now the FA want to use it next season's FA Cup matches from the third round. FIFA president Infantino is also reportedly interested in using this technology in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In that France vs Italy friendly, the VAR system helped straight away as Djibril Sidibe was spared a red card for his challenge on Daniele De Rossi after the video officials deemed the challenge was not worthy of a sending off.
While football fans and the players would not want the flow of the game to be disrupted, a referee is allowed to use video technology if the decision is deemed fundamental to the outcome of the game.
Referees have been given four areas in particular to focus on:
- Deciding on whether or not a goal should count
- Penalty decisions
- Direct red cards
- Correcting the identity of a penalised player
Check out the two instances where video technology was used in the France vs Spain match.