Trials of video assistance for referees may take place in next season’s Scottish Cup after football’s law-making body strongly recommended that experiments take place.
A final decision will be taken at the International FA Board’s (IFAB) annual general meeting in March in Cardiff, but the recommendation to allow trials has been described as a “major step forward”.
The Scottish FA will hold talks on offering the Scottish Cup for trials next season and the English FA, which has been a big supporter of video technology, is expected to do the same with the FA Cup.
Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said: “It’s one that we would certainly discuss as a board. As a personal preference, it’s something I’d like to see push forward.”
Regan said any move to involve the SPFL would have to be discussed with league organisers.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn also indicated the governing body would be willing to use its flagship competition for trials. It was also a leading force in the drive to introduce goal-line technology.
Glenn said: “I’m very happy for things within my direct control – the English FA’s direct control – to be part of that. We are big supporters of the use of technology. So, what do we control? We control the FA Cup.”
The trials would be limited to decisions on goals, red cards, penalties and cases of mistaken identity. They would involve different kinds of experiments, such as video only being used when the referee asks for assistance or in a different case where the video assistant would be allowed to flag up errors. Unlike rugby, there would be no video referee on the big screens in stadiums. If trials are successful, video assistants could come in for the 2018-19 season but not in time for the 2018 World Cup.
The meeting was chaired by Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, who said only key incidents would be reviewed.
Ford said: “The decision today is to put a very strong recommendation to the AGM that this is accepted, that experimentation does happen. It would be limited to very important game-changing moments.”