Premier League clubs to vote on whether to scrap VAR

todayMay 15, 2024 2

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Premier League clubs to vote on whether to scrap VAR

Premier League clubs are set to vote on whether to scrap video assistant referees (VAR) after a proposal by Wolves.

The use of technology has infuriated some clubs but the league believes it is effective in eradicating decisions and is being improved.

A Premier League spokesperson said: “The Premier League can confirm it will facilitate a discussion on VAR with our clubs at the annual general meeting next month.

“Clubs are entitled to put forward proposals at shareholders’ meetings and we acknowledge the concerns and issues around the use of VAR.

“However, the league fully supports the use of VAR and remains committed, alongside PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Limited], to make continued improvements to the system for the benefit of the game and fans.”

VAR has been in place in the Premier League since 2019 and is used by major leagues in Europe – although Sweden recently opted against its introduction.

There have been concerns about lengthy delays in Premier League matches caused by VAR checks and on-pitch reviews by referees of incidents on screens.

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Matches regularly go beyond 90 minutes with some extending over 100 minutes.

Referees can defer to video replays for scenarios like checking goals, penalties, and straight red cards.

Semi-automated offsides are coming in to reduce delays on checking decisions.

However, Wolves filed the resolution after having been on the end of several controversial refereeing decisions this season.

They warned the decision review system was “undermining the value of the Premier League brand” and added in a statement: “The introduction of VAR in 2019/20 was a decision made in good faith and with the best interests of football and the Premier League at its heart.

“However, it has led to numerous unintended negative consequences that are damaging the relationship between fans and football, and undermining the value of the Premier League brand.

“The decision to table the resolution has come after careful consideration and with the utmost respect for the Premier League, PGMOL and our fellow competitors.”

‘Negative consequences’ of VAR, according to Wolves

• Impact on goal celebrations and the spontaneous passion that makes football special.

• Frustration and confusion inside stadiums due to lengthy VAR checks and poor communication.

• A more hostile atmosphere with protests, booing of the Premier League anthem and chants against VAR.

• Overreach of VAR’s original purpose to correct clear and obvious mistakes, now overanalysing subjective decisions and compromising the game’s fluidity and integrity.

• Diminished accountability of on-field officials, due to safety net of VAR, leading to an erosion of authority on the pitch.

• Continued errors despite VAR, with supporters unable to accept human error after multiple views and replays, damaging confidence in officiating standards.

• Disruption of the Premier League’s fast pace with lengthy VAR checks and more added time, causing matches to run excessively long.

• Constant discourse about VAR decisions often overshadowing the match itself, and tarnishing the reputation of the league.

• Erosion of trust and reputation, with VAR fuelling completely nonsensical allegations of corruption.

They said they were not looking to place blame, but the price paid for a “small increase in accuracy” was at odds with the “spirit of our game”.

There were no other clubs immediately going public in support of abolishing VAR.

Written by: Newsroom

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