VAR has been officially put to use in the English Premier League from the 2019-20 season and so far the impact has more or less been positive.
While the VAR has been praised my most managers, fans and pundits but the new tech has had its fair share of hiccups primarily due to the error in judgements from the personnel in charge inside the VAR room.
Here are some major blunders which have popped up during the first 40 games in the league:
1. VAR ruled out an Aston Villa equaliser vs Crystal Palace after Jack Grealish was adjudged to have dived.
2. West Ham United’s Sebastien Haller had a penalty appeal turned down.
3. Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson was on the receiving end of a nasty tackle from Leicester City’s Tielemans but the latter was not red-carded for the incident.
4. Newcastle’s equaliser against Watford should have been ruled out, but VAR missed a handball in the build-up.
And these incidents have obviously not gone down too well with the managers and players who have been on the wrong end of the decisions. But there is hope that things could change from the next gameweek as there will be discussions on VAR during the international break.
The Professional Game Match Officials Board will hold a routine meeting during the break in order to look into these incidents and everyone is hoping after this meeting the referees will use the on-field monitors to make a better decision(something they are yet to do during the first 40 games).
But as per the latest reports, there will be no radical changes to the VAR methods as the referees have been urged to use the monitors as little as possible.
A single use of the monitor to make a decision on an average takes 90 seconds so a number of these will eventually slow the pace of the match. And the PGMOL does not want that to have.
The board wants the matches to be as free-flowing as possible which is why it has asked the referees to trust the VAR on the decisions.
But this has also led to another question: When exactly will the referees think of using the on-field monitors?
During the World Cup and even UEFA competitions, the referees had used the monitors on a regular basis but it looks like the Premier League will see very little of it and we believe that the refs might fully rely on VAR decisions all throughout the season.