A deadline looks to have been set for a decision as to whether the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will see the use of Video Assistant Referees (VAR).
At an event for the Professional Referee Organization, Manager of Video Assistant Referee Operations Howard Webb said a decision about the use of the VAR at the World Cup would be made in March.
Spoke to Howard Webb, a decision on having VAR at the 2019 Women’s World Cup will be made in March. Don’t rule out there being male VAR trained refs. #FWWC #WWC2019 #France2019 pic.twitter.com/rPJ0MTezg8— Har Journalist (@HarJournalist) January 12, 2019
This was the same month FIFA made the decision to use the system at the men's World Cup in 2018. It was the first time it was used at a World Cup with FIFA praising the use of it.
"After 48 games, we haven't had a single scandal, and that's very important," FIFA's director of refereeing, Massimo Busacca said.
Although it wasn't without controversy including in Australia's group game against France where the eventually World Cup winners were awarded a penalty via the VAR to give them a 1-0 lead.
Players and coaches, particularly those from the United States, have been vocal about the introduction of VAR for France.
''I think there's too much at stake for it not to be in our game. And I think if it's deserving to be in the men's game then it is absolutely deserving to be in our game. And my hope is that FIFA will oblige,'' USA coach Jill Ellis told AP in September 2017.
Matildas forward Sam Kerr also backed the use of VAR at the World Cup, despite being a bit skeptical of it at first.
“When it first come out I didn’t really like it but I think after watching games with it and without it, for calls that are definitely not goals, it works,” she told SBS News.
If the system was to be implemented this could mean that the 27 referees and 48 assistant referees, named by FIFA, could be joined by a group of male assistant video referees.
Currently, the majority of those trained in the technology are men, however, the Women's World Cup has long been overseen only by female officials.