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(Pocket-lint) - FIFA has approved testing of video replays during football matches. After many years of pundits, footballers and experts crying out for the use of video technology to help referees during major incidents, there's light at the end of the tunnel.

The International Football Association Board and FIFA will test video assistant referees in several competitions around the world - first offline and then during live matches.

Leagues in Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Brazil, Australia and the US have agreed to testing. The FIFA Club World Cup in Japan later this year will be used as the final test event before participants can conduct live experiments.

If all goes to plan, video referees could be permitted from 2017.

"The IFAB believes the best way to answer the question of whether the use of VARs will improve the game is to test it in different regions, so we are delighted to already have competitions across four confederations sign up," said IFAB Secretary Lukas Brud.

"The organisers of these competitions can now begin installing and testing video replay facilities as well as training match officials and technical staff in line with the protocol and in consultation with The IFAB and FIFA’s Football Technology Innovation Department."

Goal-line technology is already implemented around the globe.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 3 June 2016.