In a sudden shift from the status quo, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has approved trials for video assistant referees.
At its annual general meeting in Cardiff on Saturday, the highest decision-making arm of the game resolved to test the advantages and disadvantage of video assistants in private before implementing live experiments for the 2017-18 season. 12 leagues and one confederation are already interested in staging live trials.
Commenting on the groundbreaking decision, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “We have taken really a historic decision for football. FIFA and IFAB are now leading the debate and not stopping the debate.
“We have shown we are listening to the fans, the players.”
Other changes made by IFAB includes amendment of the wording of the controversial“tripple punishment” rule for a player who concedes a penalty and is sent off and suspended having been deemed to have denied an obvious goal scoring opportunity.
Also, a player who is injured by a challenge that results in a yellow or red card can be treated on the field rather than having to leave the pitch and hand the team who committed the offence an advantage.
Similarly, players can now kick the ball in any direction from the kick-off instead of just being able to kick it forwards, while experimentation with a fourth substitution in extra time has also been allowed.
These changes come into effect from June 1.