As one of the first leagues around the world, the Bundesliga has used video assistant, in its current pilot phase, since the start of the current 2017-18 season. The new technology is being used for all 306 games in order to assist the referee with making decisions about goals, penalty kicks and red cards. During the games, all video assistants work from the Video Assist Center in Cologne rather than in vans.
The fans in front of the screen are able to experience great transparency surrounding referee decisions. When the video assistant must be employed and a referee’s call is changed, TV images and perspectives, including repetitions and slow motion shots, are available as soon as possible.
The spectators in the stadium are informed about the verification of the referee‘s decision with a logo appearing on the video screen. Moving images are not utilized in stadiums due to the high complexity of technical requirements and processes.
In case the video assistant steps in, the referee on the field will signal the interruption and communication by resting a hand on their ear. In the event the referee changes his decision or needs to re-watch the play on a monitor, they will illustrate the outline of a screen in the air.
The introduction, which started in 2016, is part of a test phase conducted by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) of the Football World Association (FIFA). The decision about permanently keeping the video assistant will be made in the Spring of 2018.