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Premier League to adopt new VAR technology to improve offside decisions

The Premier League is set to respond to fans' concerns over the time taken to make offside decisions by adopting new VAR technology to improve speed and accuracy.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - October 27, 2019  General view of the big screen inside the stadium following a VAR review      REUTERS/David Klein  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use w
David KleinREUTERS

It’s safe to say that VAR has not had the best start to its debut season in the Premier League, with the new refereeing system being blasted by fans, managers and players alike.

So unpopular has the system become amongst supporters, frustrated by the lack of communication inside stadiums and the time taken to make decisions, that anti-VAR chants are now a regular feature during games.

One of the major frustrations for fans has been the time VAR requires to check offside decisions, a result of the often lengthy process involving the video official manually generating a new offside line across the pitch for each incident.

However, the Premier League plans to adopt new ‘limb-tracking technology’ to increase the accuracy and speed of offside decisions, according to the Daily Mail.

Developed by goal-line technology creator Hawk-Eye, the new system will use multiple cameras in order to create an ‘automated offside line’, freeing up video referees from the time-consuming task of manually constructing the line.

Referee Michael Oliver (R) waits for a VAR decision match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor.
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Referee Michael Oliver (R) waits for a VAR decision match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor.OLI SCARFFAFP

“The technology will track the back foot of every outfield player in each VAR game, providing a constant offside line for video referees to assess instantly, whenever a decision is deemed too close to be ruled on solely by the on-field officials,” reports the Daily Mail.

The ‘limb-tracking technology’ will only be used for checking offside decisions, leaving the Premier League still with a number of other concerns to address.

"VAR needs to work for everyone" - FSA

The news comes after a particularly controversial weekend for VAR which prompted the Football Supporters Association (FSA) on Monday to demand a meeting with Premier League bosses to discuss how communication inside grounds could be improved.

"The communication inside stadia is simply not good enough and is not what we were promised at the start of the season," an FSA spokesman told Sky Sports.

"VAR is here to stay, so we need to find a way for it to work for everyone."


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