The improvements planned for VAR as clubs vote to keep it in Premier League

Premier League clubs have voted in favour of keeping video assistant referees in the Premier League for next season.

A proposal to get rid of VAR from the start of the 2024/25 season was discussed at the Premier League’s Annual General Meeting after Wolves submitted a resolution in May.

But Wolves were alone in voting for scrapping VAR with a 19-1 vote in favour of keeping the technology.

The 20 clubs along with the Premier League did, however, agree with the PGMOL that they will all play an important role in improving the current system. There were multiple aspects discussed to improve VAR for the benefit of the game and the supporters, including…

1.      Maintaining a high threshold for VAR intervention to deliver greater consistency and less interruptions to the flow of the game.

2.      Reducing delays to the game, primarily through the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and the maintained high threshold for VAR intervention.

3.      Improving fan experience through a reduction in the delays, in-stadium announcements from referees after a post-VAR change of decision and where possible, an enhanced offering of big screen replays to include all VAR interventions.

4.      Working with PGMOL on the implementation of more robust VAR training to improve consistency, including an emphasis on speed of process while preserving accuracy.

5.      Increasing transparency and communication around VAR – including expanded communications from Premier League Match Centre and through broadcast programming such as Match Officials Mic’d Up.

6.      The delivery of a fan and stakeholder VAR communication campaign, which will seek to further clarify VAR’s role in the game to participants and supporters.

Along with discussing VAR’s future, it was reaffirmed in the meeting that semi-automated offsides will be introduced in the autumn of 2024.

The statement read: “The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.”


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