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Premier League running secret trials for video referees

Secret non-live trials using video technology to assess refereeing decisions have been conducted in 12 games in the top flight this season.

VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREES (VAR) could be a permanent part of the Premier League in the near future, as secret tests are currently underway, according to The Daily Telegraph.

In March, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) agreed to allow testing of the video technology, but the Premier League declined to be part of the public trials.

However, it has emerged that secret tests have taken place for 12 English top-flight games so far this season, with non-live trials assessing the quality of officiating.

In live games, the VARs would allow for refereeing decisions over major events to be reviewed, and incorrect calls could be overturned during a match.

The head of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, Mike Riley, confirmed to The Telegraph that the trials were being conducted in England.

“Technology that can help referees in making the correct decision without disrupting the flow of the game will be considered,” Riley said.

“The IFAB has committed to ­experimenting for a minimum of two years and it’s important to use that time to identify the best way to use technology to benefit the game.

“We have trialled using video assistant referees for 12 Premier League games so far this season.

“This has been in a non-live environment, which means there has been no contact with the match officials at the games.

“We will continue with these trials throughout the season.”

So far, numerous internationals have used live trials, including Tuesday’s friendly with Italy and Germany, while England’s clash with Germany in March is being considered for a future test.

The IFAB plans to conduct the tests for two years before deciding whether to ratify the technology ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

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