Football history was made Wednesday during the Club World Cup semifinal in Japan as the semi-final became the first official fixture to make use of video technology to award a penalty.
Referee Viktor Kassai used the system to give a spotkick to Kashima Antlers who went on to become the first Japanese club to reach the final of the competition.
After half an hour, Kashima’s Daigo Nishi was fouled inside the box by Atletico Nacional forward Orlando Berrio. Kassal and his officials initially missed it but after consulting the video assistant, he reviewed footage via a monitor on the sidelines and awarded the penalty which gave Kashima the lead.
They then went on to score a surprise 3-0 win over the South American champions who had dominated the early stages, twice hitting the woodwork.
Video replays can only used for “game-changing” incidents and FIFA head of refereeing Massimo Busacca praised the ruling. “The communication between the referee and the video assistant referee was clear, the technology worked well, and ultimately the final decision was taken by the referee, which will always be the case since the VARs are only there to support,” said Busacca in a statement.
The system, expected to be used at the World Cup in Russia if approved by the game’s lawmakers, was introduced last week at the start of the Club World Cup but had not been used until Wednesday’s game.