Video review systems have been commonplace in a number of sports around the world. For Aussies, Hawk-Eye may immediately come to mind given its usage in both cricket and tennis. Since its launch in cricket back in 2009, the review of leg before wicket decisions have relied upon Hawk-Eye given its ability to track the ball's pitch and trajectory in order to determine the most likely projected path.
Football, or soccer depending where you're from, has long done without technological aids. However, this situation has changed, albeit temporarily, after FIFA and IFAB announced in a joint press conference that they have approved testing of video technology during live games. In a two year trial, the technology can be used to make determinations in key instances such as goal scoring, penalty kicks and red cards.
Recently elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino appeared to be genuinely interested in bringing football into the 21st century, saying:
"Today we have taken really a historic decision for football. Fifa and IFAB, or IFAB and Fifa are now leading the debate and not stopping the debate. We have shown that we are listening to the fans, to the players, to football. We are listening to football and we are applying common sense."
Australia is amongst twelve national football associations that have expressed interest in deploying video technology during the trial period. FFA chief executive David Gallop said:
“In our view, the A-League would provide an ideal environment, given that the Australian TV industry has years of experience and technology know-how in this area."
Hopefully, the use of video technology will improve overall flow of the game while helping referees make the right decisions in potentially game changing situations. At the very least, the trial will provide a tangible basis upon which to discuss the future of technology in association football.