Premier League won't introduce VAR next season despite Fifa approval
Clubs in English soccer’s Premier League have voted against the introduction of so-called Video Assistant Referee technology next season, with testing to be continued until the end of next season.
The decision comes despite Fifa, soccer’s world governing body, having approved the use of the technology for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
The technology, which helps to resolve decisions over goals, penalties, sendings-off and cases of mistaken identity, has been trialled in various Fifa events and national competitions over the last two years.
While VAR is regarded as having resulted in an increase in correct refereeing decisions, concerns have been expressed over which decisions are referred, delays to matches and the lack of communication to spectators in the stadiums.
Consequently, the Premier League clubs also want improvement to communication inside the stadium and for TV viewers.
There have also been limited tests in England’s FA Cup and League Cup competitions, but the Premier League has yet to follow suit, amid continuing doubts about the pros and cons of the technology.
In one FA Cup match between Manchester United and Huddersfield, for example, lines used to judge whether a player was offside appeared curved and distorted.
However, Martin Glenn, chief executive of England’s Football Association, said last month: “I genuinely feel with the Premier League it’s not a question of if but when. It’s the Premier League’s decision whether to introduce VAR. They have in my view chosen correctly not to be early adopters because why wouldn’t you let other people find things out?
“The Premier League is the most lucrative league in the world so the consequence of a bad implementation of VAR would be very serious, but likewise the consequence of not ever running VAR when the stakes are so high is a big deal as well.”