What will be discussed as Premier League clubs meet about controversial VAR system

Chronicle Live Sports 1 month ago

Premier League clubs are set to meet today to discuss the use of VAR, following yet more controversy surrounding the system.

Plenty of issues will be on the table as all 20 top flight clubs meet with referees’ chief Mike Riley in London.

The system has been dogged with problems since it was introduced at the start of this season, with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s handball during the game between Liverpool and Manchester City once again highlighting the issue.

So, what is set to be discussed at this week’s meeting?

Manager appeals

A possible change that could be discussed is whether managers should be allowed to appeal a referee’s decision during a game.

The idea would see an approach similar to those already in place in some sports such as cricket, with teams given up to three appeals to make against contentious decisions.

Pitchside monitors

The clubs in attendance at this week’s meeting are expected to be told that referees will make more used of the pitchside monitors.

As of yet, the monitors have not been used as much as they were first expected to, with Riley advising officials to not use them in order to prevent additional delays.

He is thought to have changed his approach on the matter now though, and it is now felt that on-field referees are best placed to make the marginal calls as they are more aware of the flow of the game and the atmosphere at the time.

Keeping fans in touch

One of the main issues around VAR has been the experience of fans inside stadiums, with supporters largely kept in the dark while decisions have been made.

A solution could see the audio feed between the referee and the VAR official played out over the public address system, similar to the system used in rugby union and rugby league.

Inconsistency

Alexander-Arnold’s handball at Anfield caused plenty of debate among Sky Sports’ pundits on Sunday.

And one of the issues, brought up by former Manchester United and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, was the inconsistency around decisions such as those.

Riley is expected to be quizzed about various issues surrounding the system, including the inconsistencies in decision-making, as well as the time taken for rulings to be made.

Are any major changes expected?

In short, no.

The Premier League looks set to stick to its guns over VAR, and will likely rule out making any big changes to the system.

In an interview with the BBC, Neil Swarbrick, the Premier League lead for referees on VAR, said: “We have more decisions correct with VAR than without it.

“If the mark now is seven [out of 10], in two years’ time I’m hoping for maybe an eight and a half or nine.

“We are open to evolving with this – it’s not a case of ‘we’re not budging’. We will listen to feedback and where we can improve things we will do.”


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