When VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was used at the FIFA World Cup, it became a game-changer.
Being used on a stage that grand was the beginning of what most thought to be a revolution in the game. Although it was being used in other leagues before the tournament, the World Cup brought to the fore even more.
And with such spotlight, the good and the bad of the technology was all the more revealed. Most fans appreciated the technology for catching what would have normally gone unnoticed. But, as with all things tech, it was discovered that VAR didn’t hold all the answers to the questions.
And this is true to an extent. Some players still think decisions made by VAR favored eventual World Cup winners France. So they are against it. Some others are in support of it. It is the same with the various football leagues.
The Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A and the Bundesliga all started using the VAR last season. But football in England would have no tech interference… until the beginning of this season.
The Premier League was going to put the technology on probation, studying whether or not to use it. But the technology was put into effect in the FA Cup and EFL Cup. All of that is set to change as the Premier League will now implement VAR as from next week.
Premier League clubs have voted in favour of introducing Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to the competition from the 2019-20 season onwards.
The prospect was discussed at a shareholder’s meeting and agreed “in principle” to follow the lead set in Serie A, the Bundesliga and La Liga and after its implementation at the World Cup in Russia.
This PL season has totally nothing to do with it. But everyone will be wondering how the technology will affect the league starting from next season. The 18/19 season is still young and has had its fair share of controversies already – one in particular being Fulham’s goal against Liverpool which was wrongly cancelled.
VAR may be seen as the savior that will settle all the mysteries that the PL displays week in, week out. Referees on the pitch will be greatly helped to make even better decisions. Fans will get to watch the replay of controversial moments over and over again.
But you have to remember: the ultimate decision lies with the referee. While his attention may be called to an even, it’s still within his power to take a look and make a decision. VAR may be coming to the PL next season but the centre referees still hold all the power.
There’s been a lot of noise about this new development. What do you think? Is it a good or bad move for the Premier League? Which managers/players do you think will suffer/benefit the most from this? Leave us your comments and share your thoughts with us.