Semi-automatic offsides and VAR pairings among major changes that could be introduced next season
EPL

Semi-automatic offsides and VAR pairings among major changes that could be introduced next season

Nov 13, 2023

The International Football Association Board [Ifab] have reportedly started talks over major changes to VAR and it’s operation.

Premier League football has been inundated with controversy around the technology since it’s introduction in 2019.

VAR continues to make the headlines each weekend in the Premier League

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VAR continues to make the headlines each weekend in the Premier LeagueCredit: AFP

This season in particular has seen a number of contentious calls and fans are becoming increasingly agitated with VAR’s involvement.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Wolves head coach Gary O’Neil have expressed their anger over decisions that have gone against them.

During the week, The League Managers’ Association requested for changes to be made and The Telegraph report that talks have begun.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited [PGMOL] follow the rules that are set by Ifab, who said a ‘protocol review group’ would judge if there needs to be any alterations.

Tottenham's 4-1 defeat against Chelsea saw nine VAR checks

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Tottenham’s 4-1 defeat against Chelsea saw nine VAR checksCredit: AFP

While proposed changes are said to be ‘extremely unlikely’ to be used next season, there is one new system that could be used in the 2024/25 campaign.

There is growing confidence that semi-automatic offsides could voted in after Premier League clubs decided against it in the summer.

Such technology has already been used at the World Cup and in the Champions League, although the English top flight could be next to adopt it.

As well as this, managers have called for the PGMOL to pair on-field referees with the same VAR as often as they possibly can.

Clarification for the threshold of ‘clear and obvious’ errors is also being asked for amid a lack of consistency amongst similar scenarios in different matches.

Any proposed changes could be set to undergo trial stages by Ifab before being written into football law.

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However, this may not be enough to satisfy Premier League managers ahead of next season due to the number of controversial outcomes this term.

Handball and red card decisions in particular have come under the spotlight, and any consultation over changes by the Premier League could include the demand for the airing of live VAR audio.


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