Premier League clubs vote to continue using VAR next season

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to continue using VAR next season after being asked to consider scrapping the technology.

At the league’s annual general meeting, the 20 teams decided against ending the use of video assistant referees for key onfield decisions, despite a series of controversies last season.

Clubs, however, voted to make improvements “for the benefit of the game and supporters.”

The league said it wants to reduce delays to games while decisions are being made, with the introduction of semi-automated offside technology key to that.

“The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking,” it said in a statement.

The league also said it wanted to maintain a high threshold for VAR intervention and “more robust VAR training to improve consistency, including an emphasis on speed of process while preserving accuracy.”

In-stadium announcements will be introduced to improve fan experience, as well as big screen replays, where possible.

Wolverhampton Wanderers submitted a resolution to trigger a vote on the use of VAR last month.

It said VAR “led to numerous unintended negative consequences that are damaging the relationship between fans and football, and undermining the value of the Premier League brand.”

VAR has been used in the Premier League since the 2019-20 season. According to the league, the number of correct decisions made in games has risen from 82% prior to its introduction to 96% last season.

But there have been high profile errors.

The most notable of those last season came in a game between Tottenham and Liverpool in September when a miscommunication meant Luis Diaz’s goal was ruled out despite replays clearly showing the forward was onside.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp later called for the game to be replayed after his team’s 2-1 loss.

The league said in April that semi-automated offside technology would be introduced in the autumn of 2024.

The league said it would continue to lobby the International Football Association Board, which oversees the laws of soccer, for greater flexibility to “allow live video and audio broadcast during VAR reviews.”


James Robson is at


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