DFL and DFB to continue using Video Assistant in the coming matchday – for the time being, without a virtual offside line

After intensive analysis of the previous weekends and exchanges with other professional leagues such as FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and the DFL (German Football League) and the DFB (German Football Association), the Video Assistant will be used in the coming weekend of fixtures. For the time being, however, there will be no usage of the virtual offside line, which is also not used in other leagues involved in the FIFA pilot project.

"The DFB and our referees expressively support the decision to continue using the Video Assistant as it has already show that it can be an important support for the referees. The renunciation of the virtual offside line does not imply that a certain limitation exists, because the referees do have sufficient camera angle shots available with which to resolve appropriate game situations and assist the referee in offside positions. In the original decision to use the Video Assistant, a virtual offside line was not planned," explains Hellmut Krug, DFB head of referees.

The provision of the virtual offside line did not function without issues during some matches of the opening Matchday of the Bundesliga season. In addition, there was not a reliable radio connection for all situations using the audio system in the German refereeing system in conjunction with the Hawk-Eye service provider, who were responsible for the implementation of the video test. In the coming Bundesliga weekend, on the other hand, a continuous radio contact will be in place. Corresponding system changes have been made and, according to expert assessments, allow use of the Video Assistant. The interference-free operation can ultimately only be demonstrated under live conditions.

In regard to other leagues, the use of systems in which the Video Assistant is operated from a vehicle at the respective stadium is also reported to be partially disturbed. Therefore, a connection using a fibre-optic network, which connects the stadiums with the Video Assist centre in Cologne, is excluded. This assessment was confirmed by a comprehensive analysis that showed no signs of overloading within the glass fibre network.