After a small taste of VAR in the domestic cup competitions, the technology is fully implemented in the English top division.
With tons of debates over the last few years, VAR finally got implemented in the Premier League season this year. The newly-used technology was a surreal hit in the World Cup and Champions League – paving way for domestic leagues to incorporate that system.
Australian top-flight league was the first to employ the network in 2017. Bundesliga was the first European league to put in practice, followed by Serie A and La Liga last season.
Observing the minimal mistakes committed, the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) director Mike Riley divulged that VAR will help referees make better decisions.
How will VAR work in the Premier League?
Video Assistant Referee will operate in the same way as it does in other competitions.
There are likely to be human errors, but the VAR has been brought implemented to cut down the ‘clear and obvious‘ errors.
There are four main areas where incidents can be reviewed: Goals, penalties, red cards and mistaken identity.
The following is the general practise:
- Incident occurs and the referee queries the VAR to review and vice versa.
- The VAR reviews on-field incidents and intimates the referee if the decision needs to be overturned. The referee will not be aware until the VAR passes on the information to the on-field referee.
- If there’s not a clear-cut decision made by the VAR, the on-field referee will be told to review the footage using the small Television.
Will VAR in the Premier League be different from other leagues?
Comparatively from other leagues, there are some slight differences in the Premier League with officials hoping to avoid issues experienced elsewhere.
PGMOL, along with Premier League, analyzed every game of the 2018/19 season in an attempt to whet the practice.
A particular area bothered the officials was the potential of the VAR to interrupt the flow of the game and causing chaos amongst the supporters.
Neil Swarbrick, the person behind Premier League’s VAR implementation, says referees in England will strictly adhere to rules when it comes to video consultations.
“The threshold is higher,” Swarbrick told the Mirror. “It’s different interpretations of the IFAB laws. The different variations we’ve got we hope will stop the long stoppages and the long reviews with the screen.”
How will referees use VAR in the Premier League?
Premier League have encouraged the referees to limit the time spent on the Video Assistant Referees to cut down the delay in video calls.
Instead of relying on the Video Assistant for every call, match officials will put their trust on the on-field colleagues, unless they are briefed by VAR for clear and obvious errors. If the referee is not 100% assured over a call, there’s a chance to consult the VAR, if required.
Premier League has told the clubs to inform the supporters about the output on the giant big screen. For the stadiums which do not possess a big screen, an announcement will be made by the PA system.