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Major League Soccer to implement Video Review League-wide from August 5

Major League Soccer (MLS) has confirmed that beginning August 5, all MLS games, including the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup, will incorporate Video Review.


In compliance with procedures outlined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the universal decision-making body for the Laws of the Game, a fifth member of a game’s officiating crew, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), located in a booth at the stadium, will have access to all available broadcast angles and check all plays for potential clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents in four game-changing situations – goals, penalty decisions, direct red cards, and cases of mistaken identity.


The introduction of Video Review into MLS league matches is the culmination of more than three years of extensive research and testing of video review technology by the League and the Professional Referees Organization (PRO). In addition to Video Assistant Referee-specific camps and education sessions, preparations have included more than 100 matches – both live in-game and offline tests – at stadiums around the country that have provided invaluable training opportunities for VARs and referees.


MLS and PRO are among the pioneers of this initiative worldwide, partnering with the United Soccer Leagues (USL), to facilitate the first test in live competition, on August 12, 2016, at Red Bull Arena.


The IFAB will conduct a two-year global study of the implementation of video review in various competitions before making a final decision about the incorporation of the Video Assistant Referee into the Laws of the Game. A decision is expected in 2018, or 2019 at the latest.


Further information about the VAR project is available HERE. And an FAQ document is available HERE.


A Video Review Media Seminar, hosted by world renowned-FIFA Referee and current PRO Manager of Video Assistant Referee Operations, Howard Webb, was held live online on Friday, July 21, to further educate media members about the Video Review protocols and process. The presentation was streamed live online via the MLS YouTube Channel. Click here to watch the Seminar.


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