2018 FIFA World Cup will be the first with instant replay

It only took almost a decade of consideration.

Eddie Keogh / Reuters

Soccer (or, to the rest of the world, football) traditionalists have shunned video replay for years, claiming it would alter the sanctity of referees' calls. But well-documented flubbed calls like those that erroneously eliminated England and Mexico in the 2010 World Cup have nudged FIFA into considering the technology. At long last, after getting implemented at professional levels, it's headed to the game's biggest stage: On-field instant replay is coming to the World Cup for the first time in 2018, when Russia hosts the tournament.

Video replay came to American football years ago, filling out professional stadiums in 2007 and college-level ball in 2010. Ref-assisting technology started trickling into soccer thereafter, with FIFA finally bringing goal-line tracking games in 2012 and video replay into general matches last year. Hopefully, on-field replay will prevent the gaffes that have haunted past World Cups.