Tuesday 22 January 2019

Top flight to reject use of VAR

A view of a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system pitchside. Photo: PA
A view of a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system pitchside. Photo: PA

Ben Rumsby

Premier League clubs were last night poised to reject video technology's introduction next season.

The 20 top-flight teams meet today to decide whether to use the video assistant referee system.

Ahead of their quarterly shareholders' meeting, clubs were anticipating that not enough would vote in favour of VAR in a ballot that requires a two-thirds majority.

Barring a shock outcome, they were instead expecting to approve the expansion of non-live trials to include entire rounds of matches.

Today's debate will be preceded by a presentation by the managing director of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, Mike Riley, but the Premier League executive will make no recommendation to club executives on how to vote.

Several of those executives are publicly opposed to VAR coming into the competition next season after witnessing live trials in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup which have been dogged by controversy.

Some also want to wait until after the World Cup before reaching a decision after Fifa voted to make it the first major competition to use video technology following its inclusion in the Laws of the Game.

In an interview published in this month's edition of the Fifa magazine, the governing body's president, Gianni Infantino, said he was braced for VAR controversies in Russia. "I am sure that soon we will reach a stage in which VARs are part and parcel of the game and its flow," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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