Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

London — A video referee will be used in England’s friendly against Germany at Wembley on Friday, half a century after one of the most controversial decisions in the history of the game at the 1966 World Cup final.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) approved a two-year trial period of the video refereeing (VAR) system in 2016.

It is being used in Italy and Germany this season but Friday’s match will be the first time in an official game in Britain — during a fixture that has been seen its fair share of controversial goalline incidents.

The debate over Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 World Cup final crossing the line during England’s 4-2 win at Wembley has never ended, while Frank Lampard’s disallowed strike during England’s 4-1 defeat at the 2010 World Cup in SA was shown to have crossed the line by technology.

Video assistant referees, watching the game on TV screens, are available to review four types of situation — goals, penalty decisions, red cards, and cases of mistaken identity. It is only to be used "to correct clear errors and for missed serious incidents" in "match-changing" situations, the IFAB has said.

VARs and other match officials are able to recommend reviews, but the only person who can initiate one is the referee, who will have the final say whether their original decision should stand or be changed.

They have the option to review footage themselves on a pitch-side monitor before making a final decision. A trial of the VAR system passed without incident during October’s 2017 Wembley Cup charity match.

Fifa have yet to confirm whether VARs will be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but the system has had a mixed start in Germany. There has been furious debate over when the VAR should intervene and how long it takes for decisions to be reviewed.


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