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England embraces new tech for visit of old rivals

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-10 07:12

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.

Last year soccer's rule makers, the International Football Association Board, approved a two-year trialling of the video assistant refereeing (VAR) system.

It is being used in Italy and Germany this season but Friday's match will see it used for the first time in an official game in Britain - in a rivalry that has seen its fair share of controversial goalline incidents.

The debate over whether Geoff Hurst's goal in the 1966 World Cup final crossed the line during England's 4-2 win over Germany at Wembley has never gone away while TV replays showed the referee was wrong to disallow a Frank Lampard strike in England's 4-1 loss to its old rival at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Video assistant referees, who watch the game on TV screens, are available to review four types of situation - goals, penalty/no-penalty decisions, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

It is only to be used "to correct clear errors and for missed serious incidents" in those "match-changing" situations, according to the IFAB.

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

They have the option to review footage themselves on a pitch-side monitor before making a final decision.

A trial of the system passed without incident during a charity match featuring amateurs and retired pros at Wembley last month.

FIFA has yet to confirm whether VARs will be used at next year's World Cup in Russia, but the fledgling 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.

Meanwhile, Germany will be without World Cupwinning defender Jerome Boateng for Friday's match.

The Bayern Munich star is struggling with a muscular injury and the Germans' Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is a doubt after being sidelined from training while dealing with a stomach virus.

Agence France - presse

(China Daily 11/10/2017 page23)

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