The use of VAR in the Premier League has caused controversy and debate in equal measures, and the PGMOL aren’t prepared to wait until next season to make changes
Football fans will finally be able to hear explanations of VAR decisions with new measures set to come to Premier League for the next round of games.
Premier League clubs voted unanimously to introduce video technology into the 2019/20 campaign, but there has been no shortage of controversy since. From Ivan Toney’s controversial leveller for Brentford against Arsenal in February, when VAR official Lee Mason forgot to draw the offside lines – to chief refereeing officer Howard Webb apologising to West Ham after their equaliser at Chelsea was wrongly ruled out – the process has been undermined by errors.
A new pilot show from Premier League Productions will start next Monday, May 15, the same night Leicester host Liverpool in the Premier League. The programme will reveal audio from key decisions made over the previous weekend.
According to ESPN, Webb has been in negotiations with FIFA over legislation on getting VAR audio released. World football’s governing body currently allow recordings to be used following a match, but not whilst the game is ongoing.
And as of next season, the 2014 World Cup final referee will demand audio is released regularly. The decision brings Premier League football more in line with rugby union, where conversations between the referee and the TMO can be heard by television viewers as they take place.
Webb, 51, will also hope the changes will stop him having to offer grovelling apologies to managers and clubs. Most recently he was forced to apologise to players and coaches and Brighton after admitting that Kaoru Mitoma should have been awarded a penalty in their chaotic 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.
Mitouma was seemingly fouled in the box by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. However, referee Stuart Attwell waved the appeals away while Michael Salisbury didn’t feel the incident merited a VAR decision.
And with VAR costing just short of £3 million a season to implement, Webb has clearly decided he is no longer prepared to put up with such mass discontent from fans. There are, however, no plans for the Championship to introduce the technology, despite a large number of fans calling for it to be introduced.