Major League Soccer will implement the video assistant referee (VAR) system league-wide in August, making it among the first domestic leagues to use the video review system. Major League Soccer confirmed that beginning August 5, all MLS games, including the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup, will incorporate Video Review.
In compliance with procedures outlined by The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the universal decision-making body for the Laws of the Game, a fifth member of a game’s officiating crew, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), located in a booth at the stadium, will have access to all available broadcast angles and check all plays for potential clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents in four game-changing situations — goals, penalty decisions, d
irect red cards, and cases of mistaken identity .
The introduction of Video Review into MLS league matches is the culmination of more than three years of extensive research and testing of video review technology by MLS and the Professional Referees Organization (PRO). In addition to Video Assistant Referee-specific camps and education sessions, preparations have included more than 100 matches – both live in-game and offline tests – at stadiums around the country that have provided invaluable training opportunities for VARs and referees.
MLS and PRO are among the pioneers of this initiative worldwide, partnering with the United Soccer Leagues (USL), to facilitate the first test in live competition, on Aug. 12, 2016 at Red Bull Arena. The IFAB will conduct a two-year global study of the implementation of video review in various competitions before making a final decision about the incorporation of the Video Assistant Referee into Laws of the Game. A decision is expected in 2018, or 2019 at the latest.