PREMIER LEAGUE will finally get Video Assistant Referee (VAR) after numerous incorrect decisions of late.
The most notable incident for Sadio Mane being called wrongly called offside in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal – with several countries already using the system.
When will VAR be introduced in the Premier League?
All 20 clubs have agreed to the introduction of the refereeing system in the English top-flight from next season, subject to approval from the International Football Association Board (Ifab) and Fifa.
A move to use VAR this season was rejected in April by two-thirds of Premier League teams, wanting another year to implement trials.
Trials were carried out in September to determine if the system would work for multiple matches at once – but only in an observation role with no effect on the games.
But since then, there have been several incorrect calls, including Charlie Austin’s disallowed goal for Southampton against Watford – leading to the England striker’s explosive post-match interview.
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How does VAR work?
The system can be called upon to clear up four different types of on-field incidents including:
- Awarding goals
- Penalty decisions
- Red card decisions
- Cases of mistaken identity
The video assistant referee will liaise with the on-pitch referee to relay information on calls.
The video assistant referee – a top official who is watching the game away from the stadium – has access to every camera angle and goal-line technology cameras.
This is expected to be at Stockley Park in North London, the base for where the trials have taken place.
However, the on-pitch referee must first consult the VAR and then the process of reviewing an incident can be made.
What competitions already have VAR?
The video refereeing system has already been used in England, in particular in the Carabao Cup and in certain FA Cup matches including last season’s final.
VAR was also installed for the World Cup in the summer, receiving positive reviews for its effectiveness and success rate.
Currently, several domestic leagues around the world use the system, including Spain’s La Liga, the German Bundesliga, Serie A in Italy and USA’s MLS.
The Champions League will bring in VAR from next season, ending incorrect decisions like when Davinson Sanchez scored a disallowed goal, when Harry Kane was ruled offside in Tottenham’s draw with PSV.