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Russia fast-forwarding to video

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-26 07:32

The president of Russia's Football Union, deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, said on Saturday that the country was in talks with FIFA on using the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology at some of its stadiums.

VAR, which uses two video officials who monitor the action on screens and call the match referee's attention to mistakes or omissions, is being tested at four Russian stadiums hosting the Confederations Cup, a test event for next year's World Cup.

World governing body FIFA has already said it would like to use video assistant referees at the World Cup in Russia.

Soccer's rule-making body IFAB is expected to decide in March next year whether to authorise their use in the game on a permanent basis.

"I have asked FIFA to leave the system at the four stadiums and FC Krasnodar has asked for it as well," Mutko said in Kazan before Russia's 2-1 Confederations Cup Group A defeat to Mexico.

Mutko said the VAR technology was "pricey" but that his country was ready to implement it.

"We are at the stage of talks about how to do this," Mutko said. "Our specialists are working with FIFA specialists on this. There are things to think about, but overall the system gives more objectivity and more confidence to each team."

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said last week he was "extremely happy" with the technology's use at the Confederations Cup, but it has stirred debate and controversy in some matches.

A video review denied Chile a legitimate-looking goal in its 2-0 win against Cameroon last week, and it was used again at the end of the match to overturn a linesman's marginal offside call.

The system was also used to book three players involved in a brawl in Mexico's match against New Zealand on Wednesday during a lengthy video review in stoppage time.

Some managers have raised concerns over VAR's use at the tournament.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos said the system was "a bit confusing" after his side's opening goal was ruled out in their 2-2 draw against Mexico on June 18.

"In my point of view, you have to look at the other aspects: the game, the show, the pace, the rhythm," Santos said on Friday.

"That's something that will be discussed in the right place, at the right time by those in charge."


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