November 25 – English football’s refereeing chief has admitted that there have been four recent VAR blunders, increasing pressure on the game’s authorities to either scrap the system or tighten it up.
Mike Riley (pictured) told a meeting of the 20 top-flight clubs that there were four instances of the “worst possible outcome” of the video assistant referee system in two weeks before the international break.
“We are far from perfect and we have to improve the way we do things,” he said.
“Part of the balance of understanding ‘clear and obvious’ [the terminology used to determine when an on-field error should be overturned] is that there will be times when we don’t intervene and everyone thinks we should.
“But that is a better place to be than intervening and everyone saying ‘you shouldn’t have done that’.
“There are significant things we can do to improve, including better consistency in decision-making as VARs and the timings so we get minimum interference.”
Despite constant complaints from officials and fans since the start of the season over lack of consistency, there have been no moves to do something about it though from next month, stadium screens will provide more detail on decisions instead of leaving everyone in the dark.
Urging the clubs to keep faith, Riley said: “You look at any country that’s implemented VAR and everyone in the game has to go through that learning curve together.”
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