Video assistant referee (VAR) will make football more honest but will in not change the sport itself in any way, Marco van Basten, FIFA’s chief of technical development, said on Monday.
“The sport will remain the same,” Van Basten, the former Netherlands striker, told reporters ahead of a test of the new replay technology in the friendly between Italy and Germany on Tuesday in Milan.
In March, soccer’s law-making body IFAB approved a two-year trial of the VAR system with access to replays to help match officials review key decisions.
“What we have is extra pairs of eyes and it could help referees,” Van Basten said.
“Football will not be changed by this. I hope… that football will become more honest (with the VAR), that is all we want to achieve. The result to be the best one, the right decision.”
Officials said the test during the Milan friendly will be looking at four different situations where the technology could prove decisive.
The referee will be able to communicate with two video assistant referees sitting in a room in the stadium with access to all camera channels.
They will look at goals scored, penalties awarded, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity, when a player awarded a yellow or red card is not actually involved in an incident.
“I am convinced it will be good,” Van Basten said. “It may take some time, players, referees will have to adapt a bit but it will be good.”
While the VARs will be able to correct the referee, officials are describing this test as semi-live given that a pitch-side monitor for the referee to review incidents himself will not be available at the game.
Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United States have conducted tests and the first international where the technology was tested was a friendly between Italy and France in September.
A final decision on the introduction of VAR will be taken in 2018