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Premier League officials have announced changes to VAR for the upcoming season, vowing that no more ‘trivial’ decisions will be given.
The use of VAR (video assisted refereeing) has come under constant criticism over the past couple of seasons, with things coming to a head last season due to the offside rule and handball rules offering a lack of clarity to players and fans.
But that will change going forward as officials look to ‘dial back’ the use of VAR in the hope of reclaiming some of the spirit from before technology was introduced to the game.
One of the biggest changes is that VAR will no longer penalise ‘trivial things’, while penalties such as Raheem Sterling ‘s against Denmark will no longer be given as ‘contact is no longer enough’.
Referee’s chief Mike Riley spoke of the changes and said: “Contact on its own is only part of the what referees should look for.
“They should also ask themselves if the contact has a consequence, and then if the player used that contact to try and win a foul or a penalty.
“It’s not sufficient just to say: ‘Yes, there’s contact.’ I think, partly, we got into that frame of mind by the forensic analysis that went into VAR awards.
“If you’ve got clear contact that has a consequence, that’s what you’ve got to penalise. If you’ve any doubt in those elements, you’re less likely to be penalised.
“I think it moves the dial back towards where we were in a pre-VAR world. We don’t want trivial things penalised.”
Another major change is that offside won’t be under the microscope so much, as the benefit of the doubt to the attacker has been restored. Riley believes around 20 goals were disallowed last season because of “forensic scrutiny” but hopes that will be eliminated this year.
“The toenails and noses that might have been offside last year won’t be next season,” he added.
“We will carry on following the same process as last year, so you’ll apply the pixel lines, place the attacking line and defending line on top, and then the thicker broadcast lines. But where they overlap those, situations will now be deemed as onside.”
Fans will no longer see the offside process of lines being drawn, instead just being shown the final result and image used to make the decision as they did during Euro 2020.
These changes are in addition to a few rule changes to the handball rule where now ‘the hand or arm position in relation to body movement’ and whether ‘the body is being made unnaturally bigger’ are taken into account, while accidental handball will only see a goal ruled out if it happens immediately before a goal.
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