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Testing a Replay System to Give Soccer Referees Another Set of Eyes

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Chico Grajeda, of the Professional Referee Organization, was at Red Bull Arena to assist with live testing of a video replay system on Wednesday.

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FIFA

HARRISON, N.J. — In an empty Red Bull Arena, a group of teenage soccer players scrimmaged under the watch of a FIFA referee. They defended. They attacked. They scored.

But tactics were not the main focus of Wednesday’s exhibition. Rather, under instructions to create difficult calls for the match’s referee, the players also roamed freely offside, played the ball when it went out of bounds and, in at least one instance, handled it deliberately to prevent a goal.

The game was organized by the International Football Association Board, the organization that administers the rules of soccer, as one of the first live tests of a proposed video replay system for the sport.

In March, the board approved, in principle, the rules for the replay experiments. It also announced that leagues and competitions in six countries had volunteered to take part, including Major League Soccer in the United States, the Bundesliga in…

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