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Video replays and refs – what do fans think?

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Want to know more about video technology in football? Then come along to the 2017 Supporters Summit…

From goal-line cameras to vanishing spray, the increasing use of technology in the game seems to be ramping up season-by-season and it’s important that supporters are kept informed.

That’s why at next week’s Supporters Summit we’ll be taking a closer look at video replays with one of the game’s leading referees.

Video assistant referees and video reviews are the latest innovations being looked at the top of the game and we’ve already seen their impact in high profile cases.

During England’s recent friendly against France, Raphael Varane was shown a red card after fouling Dele Alli in the French box, a decision reached after the referee received additional advice from video replays despite initially giving no foul.

Video review is also in use at this year’s Confederations Cup and has caused some controversy. Chile were unhappy with the amount of time it took to disallow their opening goal against Cameroon, which was ruled offside by a razor-thin margin. Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi was unhappy with the interruption and its impact on proceedings.

“It is a little difficult for the players,” he said. “Even if it is the right decision, this has an impact on players’ emotions and feelings.”

At the Confederations Cup, video decisions have often left the crowds confused as video replays aren’t shown in stadium, only to the television audience at home. Despite these issues, FIFA boss Gianni Infantino is happy with its introduction.

“What fans have been waiting for over so many years is finally happening,” Infantino said, saying video technology “is the future of modern football.”

Video technology will be arriving on British shores soon too – the FA will be trialling the use of video replays in the third round of next season’s FA Cup. And Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore confirmed that the league would be piloting video replays to aid referees from the start of the 2018-19 season.

It’s clear that competition bodies and the game’s lawmakers will be pressing ahead with video technology in the game but what do supporters think?

That’s one question we’re looking to answer at next week’s Supporters Summit at St George’s Park, the FA’s flagship football centre.

Neale Barry, former-Premier League referee and now head of senior referee development at the FA will be showing fans at the summit how video technology will assist referees in the near future.

It’s a great chance for fans to understand when, where and why the technology will be called upon. We know many of you will have strong opinions on video replays, so no doubt there will be plenty of debate to be had too – come along to the Summit and have your say.

Thanks to Gerard Reyes for the image used in this blog. Reproduced here under Creative Commons license.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe