The French Football League (LFP) has announced that video refereeing technology will be utilised for the first time in senior domestic competition for this season’s play-off games to determine promotion and relegation between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.
The system will be utilised in games taking place on May 25 and 28, with the LFP stating that the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which establishes the sport’s playing rules and laws, had accepted a request from the French Football Federation (FFF) for the first-time use of video refereeing for matches in France.
This first application is part of the experimentation conducted in France by the FFF and the LFP since October. Video refereeing has been tested during several Ligue 1 games, but without the system being directly authorised to change decisions.
The system will be used in four specific cases. Firstly, to answer questions surrounding the legality of goals scored, as well as decisions surrounding penalties, red cards and mistaken identity for bookings or dismissal of players.
Didier Quillot, executive director of the LFP, said: “The introduction of video assistance for refereeing at the Ligue 1 games will be a great first for French football. This innovation is part of the work carried out with the Technical Directorate of Arbitration to improve the refereeing, and therefore our championship.
“At a time when video assistance for refereeing is still in the test phase, we are happy to be able to carry out this full-scale rehearsal on the occasion of a double confrontation that is particularly important for the two clubs concerned.”
In January, the German Football League (DFL) announced that the country’s Bundesliga would become the first major league to begin using television replays to assist referees during matches.
From the 2017-18 season, the so-called video assistant referees (VARs) system will feature at Bundesliga matches, with all league stadiums to be linked to a VAR centre via a fibre-optic network.