(DailyMail) – Football could see further sweeping changes after it was revealed that FIFA are exploring the possibility of replacing assistant referees with VAR technology.
As first reported by The Mirror, football’s international governing body have set up a new department to discover whether technology could be used further in football.
The linesman’s role has been identified as a potential area in which technology could come into use. If the findings of the new department are favourable, football could see a three-man on-field officiating party reduced to just one.
An insider told The Mirror: ‘FIFA already have a department set up researching into these exact areas.
‘Will they replace referee assistants completely with cameras and computers ruling offsides and throw-ins? It could happen one day.’
Since its introduction into Premier League football at the start of the 2019-20 season, VAR has stirred debate among fans and pundits alike.
A number of key moments have been overturned as a result of intervention by technology, including Gabriel Jesus’ late winner against Tottenham Hotspur last week, which was overruled as a result of a handball by team mate Aymeric Laporte in the build up.
And while the use of VAR has reduced the likelihood of injustices being served, critics have slammed the technology for its affect on the flow of the game.
Following Ruben Neves’ stunning strike against Manchester United being reviewed last Monday, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said that technology risks ruining the emotional side of the game.
He said: ‘I didn’t want to lose that moment. I don’t know how they’re going to solve it, I gave my opinion to it, but it’s the emotion.
‘You celebrate a goal and it’s such a beautiful moment, so when you are stood in silence waiting for it, don’t take that away from the people, because it’s the most important moment in football.’
Premier League bosses have also called into question the standard of technology used by video assistant referees to determine offside decisions.
Last week, the Mail on Sunday revealed that the current 50 frames-per-second footage meant that officials could not make definitive calls on offside decisions.
Head of VAR Neil Swarbrick told BBC Leicester: ‘We can only make decisions on the technology we have got. If that improves and there are better frame rates introduced, then we will use it.
‘But at the moment that is what we operate with. If 50fps seems unbelievably slow then so be it. We can only use what we are provided with.’