'Football history' as video ref is used in Italy vs France

Fifa chief Gianni Infantino hails moment referee consults replays before turning down penalty appeal

France's Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring against Italy
(Image credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

France's 3-1 victory against Italy in a friendly on Wednesday night was a game to remember - and not only because Olivier Giroud found the net.

Rather, the 90 minutes will be remembered for the referee stopping play to watch video replays before making a decision – a moment of "football history", said Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

Although the test was apparently offline, "video was used when Italy appealed for a penalty after a perceived handball in the box by defender Layvin Kurzawa," reports the BBC. "Referee Bjorn Kuipers stopped play while TV replays were consulted and it was decided not to award a spot-kick."

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Infantino said that the results of the experiment would be made public today. Fifa hopes to have video assistant referees in place by the 2018 World Cup.

Trials of video replays are being held in several competitions this season, including the German Bundesliga, Serie A in Italy, Portugal's league and cup and the A-League in Australia.

Using the footage would be restricted to decisions on goals being scored, penalties being awarded, players being sent off and cases of mistaken identity.

At present, technology is used to determine whether a goal has been scored when it is unclear if the ball has crossed the line.

Wednesday's game in Bari not only featured a strike from Giroud and the use of video, but also a goal fashioned by new Manchester United team-mates Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, with the latter sprinting onto a through ball from the world's most expensive player to open the scoring for France.

Layvin Kurzawa was also on target for France, while Graziano Pelle scored for Italy.

It was not a game new Italy boss Giampiero Ventura will remember with fondness.

"Defender Giorgio Chiellini was to blame for France's opening two goals and 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma marked his international debut by failing to protect his near post to let in a third," reports the Daily Mail.

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