First VAR Tests in the Premier League and Fans’ Opinion

during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Everton and Rotherham United at Goodison Park on August 29, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

Unfortunately for many, the Premier League voted against VAR before the start of the 2018/2019 season. Now another chance is given to the modern technology, as it is going to be tested in 15 Premier League games after the international break.

First VAR tests in the Premier League and Fans’ Opinions

What is VAR?

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) reviews the head referee’s decisions with the use of video footage.

The information from the video room is then shared with the head referee, who can change his call based on the outcome of the review.

La Liga recently became the latest user of VAR after it has been successfully used in Serie A, Bundesliga, MLS and more since last season. In fact, VAR was first used in Australia’s A-League and sparked worldwide attention thanks to solid results that even led to the technology being used in the World Cup earlier this year.

VAR in England

The Premier League is currently the only league in the top five leagues that hasn’t yet implemented the video assistant referee. Two-thirds of the Premier League Clubs voted against the addition of the new technology in the league, which officially means the idea is rejected for this season.

Interestingly enough, VAR was used in England since last year. Last season the system was used in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup in certain games and now it’s planned to be used in 100% of the games in those tournaments.

Second Chance

After all, VAR will be used in a few league games this season. The Premier League will test VAR at about 15 matches this season – starting after the international break. The first trial is expected to be at the 3pm matches on September 15 to see how well the technology works when games are being played at the same time. This means that Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal will all play their games in front of the video assistant referee. This doesn’t guarantee that the system will be fully introduced next season, but a successful test will improve the chances of its implementation.

Fans’ Voice

There are many supporters of the idea, but there are of course people who don’t want VAR’s addition in England’s top tier. That’s why we decided to create a poll to see what football fans think about the implementation of VAR in the Premier League.

A staggering 78% of the surveyed are for VAR. Their reasoning is that the technology will decrease wrong decisions by referees greatly.  The supporters of the idea share that they feel confident because of the successful way it has been implemented in other leagues. They understand that the system is still developing but ‘it can’t be perfected if it isn’t used’.

The 22% against also have their fair points. Fans are worried that referees ‘really don’t know how to use it’ or ‘are reluctant to use it’ sometimes.  Another concern is that reviewing can take up too much time and might stop the flow of the game.

Do you think that adopting VAR in the Premier League is the right move?

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