and make decisions which will completely change outcomes of a match can be really difficult and can put you on the spot, literally. Players will argue with you, some will even want to attack you. These things can make a referee’s job very, very cumbersome.
In order to make decisions during turbulent football matches easier, Video Assistant Referees, or VAR, have been implemented into various leagues. Will the Premier League also get VAR? Is it time for the top tier English football to become a bit more modern? The Premier League thinks that it is time.
What is VAR?
VAR is a video technology system which allows referees who are not on site to watch videos of recently made decisions by the referees on site and decide whether they were correct. Since they can view an offside and foul from different angles, they can better judge whether a situation was correctly judged.
Then, they would relay that information to the main referee using a radio. This was used on World Cups, both male and female ones. VAR slows the tempo of games, but makes the decisions made on court correct. While the system isn’t perfect, it actually helps and that is what football needed as a sport. But when will the Premier League have this system implemented?
The 2019/2020 Season is the Season of VAR
The Premier League officials have decided that the 2019/2020 season will be the first season to use VAR. It will be used in a way which will not affect game time as long as it could. All the VAR decisions will be displayed on a giant screen if such a screen exists on a venue. If not, loudspeakers will be used. It can be used to overturn goals, due to a player being offside. It can be used to decide whether a foul deserves a red card, but interestingly enough, not a second yellow card.
VAR in the First Couple of Premier League Matches
VAR was actually used in the first couple of Premier League matches and it has been met with mixed reactions. Some praise it for helping clear up decisions which were not correct, while others criticize it for slowing down the tempo of a game, sometimes by 6 minutes. Fans were also not really entertained when a match would be stopped, but they had no idea why, due to the venue not having a big screen. Some venues had to do with speakers, which annoyed fans to an extent.
On the other hand, it was praised for helping stop some decisions which could not have otherwise been made, as a referee can only see so much.
VAR is already here. The Premier League will now have a different way to make decisions and to have them addressed properly when a referee cannot see and hear everything that takes place on the football pitch.