Video replay technology currently being trialled could help prevent incidents like Thierry Henry’s handball, which helped deny Ireland a place at the 2010 World Cup, according to David Elleray.

The former Premier League referee is now the technical director for the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the game's law-making body that announced last year a two-year period of ‘live experiments’ to trial video assistant referees (VARs).

Thirteen countries signed up to take part in those trials, with three more, including England, following their progress closely.

Speaking to reporters at Wembley this week, Elleray said the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and there is every chance VARs will be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"It's pretty daunting but it's also exciting because it could change the face of football - it's potentially the most significant change to football ever," said Elleray.

"It's not a panacea but it could put an end to injustices like the (Thierry) Henry and Maradona goals, so it is a clear benefit.”

With Ireland’s qualifier play-off locked at 1-1 coming up to the end of the second leg, Henry handled the ball to set up William Gallas’ decisive goal.

"We're not looking for perfection but the 10 worst decisions of my career could probably have been changed pretty quickly with video,” continued Ellarey.

"All referees live with the scars of their worst decisions on their back; this will remove some of those scars."

David Elleray, right, with England manager Gareth Southgate

As well as Elleray answering questions about the benefits of giving officials more assistance, the 62-year-old Englishman explained IFAB's "minimum interference - maximum benefit" approach and how VARs will work in practice.

The VARs themselves will be current or recently retired referees watching the action either in an on-site video room or truck, or at a central location, as is common in American sport.

They will have access to at least six different camera angles and will view and review contentious incidents as the match progresses.

They and the assistant referees will be able to recommend an official review but only the referee will be able to initiate one, which he or she will do by drawing an imaginary TV screen with their hands, just as in cricket and rugby.

The referee must give a decision before a review can be made and he or she must always stay in sight. The review will take as long as it takes to get it right and will only reverse the original decision if it is a clear mistake.

Elleray said the VARs are not intended to replace referees or break the flow of the game, so only decisions on goals, penalties, straight red cards and incidents where the wrong player has been penalised will be reviewed.

FIFA has already trialled VARs at the 2016 Club World Cup in Japan and will do so again at the U-20 World Cup in South Korea in May, this summer's Confederations Cup in Russia and the next Club World Cup in December.

Last week, the Football Association said it was keen to start using VARs from the third round onward of next season's FA Cup.