Friday 20 September 2019

Refs chief Riley admits VAR has made mistakes

Head of Premier League referees Mike Riley. Photo: PA
Head of Premier League referees Mike Riley. Photo: PA

Jeremy Wilson

Mike Riley, the head of Premier League referees, has admitted that the goal which cost Watford victory in Javi Gracia's last match as manager was among four video assistant referee mistakes this season.

Addressing a meeting of clubs, Riley also singled out two errors when he accepted the "high bar" for intervening was crossed and penalties should respectively have been awarded to Manchester City's David Silva and West Ham's Sebastien Haller in their games against Bournemouth and Norwich City.

Riley highlighted an error of judgment in not sending off Leicester City's Youri Tielemans for a studs-up foul on Callum Wilson, as well as a "process" error in which they missed Isaac Hayden's handball in the build-up to Fabian Schar's equaliser for Newcastle against Watford. After losing their three previous matches, Watford sacked Gracia after the Newcastle draw.

Riley stressed that the use of VAR had ensured six additional correct decisions.

The advice to officials is to maintain their interpretation of the International Football Association Board's laws and continue to use pitchside monitors sparingly and not lower the bar for intervention.

With a referral to a pitchside monitor generally taking at least 90 seconds, the Premier League still wants to minimise interruptions to the game.

"There have been some really good examples of where we have intervened - six instances of where VAR was applied and we have got a better decision as a result," said Riley. "What we have talked about is the four instances where the VAR didn't intervene and, had it done, I think we would have had a better understanding of the role VAR plays."

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport