February 5 – The English Premier League has vowed to improve the standards of VAR after a plethora of baffling and inconsistent decisions throughout the season.
The video assistant refereeing system was introduced in the English top-flight for the first time in the current campaign, but recently appointed Premier League CEO Richard Masters admits it has to be better implemented.
“I don’t think VAR has been damaging but I accept it needs improvement,” said Masters. “Scrapping it is not an option – what we have to do is try and make VAR better.”
A recent survey by pollsters YouGov showed that six out of 10 fans felt the system was working badly and Masters admitted that the time taken to make decisions and marginal offside decisions were among the areas that had to be re-examined.
Masters said 94% of “key decisions” had been found to be correct but revealed clubs will discuss in April how the system will work next season and look at issues such as ludicrous offside calls and the referee’s use of the pitchside monitor.
“I think if fans can see the referee (reviewing the incident) then psychologically they are seeing something happening rather than waiting for VARs … to make a decision.”
The International FA Board, the game’s law-making body, is set to discuss the system at its annual meeting in Belfast later this month.
“We are in constant dialogue with IFAB about it and about the way the Premier League does it versus everyone else and what we can learn from other leagues,” said Masters.
“We are going to have a debate about what sort of VAR they would like next season and what improvements can be made to the system. It’s going to be a work in progress this season and next as we try to rebalance it so you get the positives of better decision-making and fewer of the perceived negatives about delay and sometimes confusion.”
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