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History will be made at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™, which will be played from 12 September to 3 October. In line with FIFA’s goal of leveraging technology to improve the football experience, as set out in The Vision 2020-2023, the FIFA Council recently approved the use of video support (VS) at the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021. This is the first time that such a system will be used at a FIFA Futsal World Cup™, with the technology set to positively impact the game. Naturally, training with VS will be an important part of the preparation process for the referees who will feature at Lithuania 2021.
The system will comprise a review operator and a pitchside monitor on which referees will be able to review specific incidents. Referees and teams will benefit from having video replays available for four specific types of incidents:
- Goal/no goal situations
- Penalty incidents
- Direct red cards
- Potential cases of mistaken identity
- Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, fully supports the introduction of VS and voiced his enthusiasm about its implementation: “This is an important milestone for the game of futsal: the introduction of VS at the highest level of international competition. It will be an innovative system for the sport, enabling the quick review of specific on-pitch incidents and ultimately ensuring fairer results.”
Referees will have the opportunity to review incidents immediately to clarify decisive moments in futsal matches. The technology has been tested in several competitions and has also been in operation in Lithuania, the host nation of the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2021™. In addition, consultation was carried out with various futsal stakeholders, including top coaches and players, which yielded very positive feedback regarding the system.
“Of course, the implementation of any new element introduced to the game always poses challenges; however, the reaction from the futsal community has been overwhelmingly positive. The coaches of the qualified teams will be briefed about the innovative tool soon and the focus is on delivering a fantastic and technologically modern Futsal World Cup,” added Collina.
The protocol for the VS system is being finalised and will be released closer to the tournament.
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