Clubs informed of new plans to overhaul current VAR system

Premier League clubs have been told at a shareholders’ meeting that the VAR system is set to see changes for next season.

VAR has come under fire since its introduction to the English top division in 2019, mainly due to the consistency of the decision-making process, most commonly in relation to potential penalty offences.

There have been a number of contentious decisions which have led to managers speaking out.

Chris Wilder, for instance, hit out at the technology following his Sheffield United side’s 1-0 defeat against Fulham. He said the Blades had been on the end of “rubbish decisions”.

Fulham boss Scott Parker said that VAR is “killing” the excitement in football.

Changes to the VAR system will be presented to match officials in coaching and training sessions with a view to being implemented for next season.

According to a report from The Times, the improvements will aim to improve the consistency of decision-making when it comes to subjective calls. That includes marginal offside decisions and red cards.

A presentation to the clubs reportedly explained: “The purpose is to identify improvements to the VAR system and form a common understanding of where a VAR interpretation is expected and how changes can be made to increase consistency in interpretation and decision-making.

“The results will inform the coaching and training of match officials during the close season and changes will take effect in season 2021-2022. The PGMOL [will] present an action plan at the next shareholders’ meeting outlining changes and improvements for next season and beyond.”

What are the current VAR laws?

VAR monitor
Image Credit: Getty

The Premier League explain that VAR is used to assess “clear and obvious errors” in four match situations – goals, penalty decisions, red card incidents and mistaken identity.

Offside is considered as a factual decision and isn’t subject to the same assessment as above, although is checked via the use of drawn lines.

Referees have access to a pitchside monitor in order to check decisions themselves.

Assistant referees should keep their flag down when they believe there is a marginal offside call and a goalscoring opportunity looks likely to develop.

If the active period of play ends in a goal, VAR then checks for offside.

Handball laws have changed since the beginning of the season. It now mainly centres around what the Premier League describe as “where the arm is in an expected position given player’s action”.

The technology is in use for every Premier League game.

Featured Image Credit: Getty