Two major changes VAR must make for the benefit of the Premier League

VAR has been a blight on the Premier League since its introduction but, with a few tweaks, it can change for the better, according to our editor Michael Mongie.

When the new technology was set to be implemented in the Premier League after a few hiccups at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fans were excited about referees being given more assistance with decisions that were too quick to make.

The reality is that VAR has added even more controversy to football than there was before its introduction and the fact of the matter is that there is very little wrong with the tech itself but rather with the rules and those who implement them.

Earlier this year, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) made FIFA responsible for all VAR issues, after raising concerns over the way it had been implemented in the Premier League. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SPORTS JOE.

The biggest frustrations right now with VAR are to do with the handball laws and the fact that offsides are being given for instances where forwards are level or a few millimetres offside.

There are those who believe you’re either offside or you’re not but the majority of fans online take issue with using lines on a blurry image to decide whether a player is behind a backline or not.

For me, the best way to deal with VAR and its intervention on marginal offside calls would be to get rid of the lines.

The assistant referee on duty must make a call to look at a freeze-frame and decide with the naked eye if a player is offside, if he can’t decide without the need for lines then either the on-field decision must stand or the attacker should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Calls like these aren’t improving football but instead sucking the soul out of the game. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.COM.

As for the second change I recommend is implemented: handball. Once again, I believe most fans will agree the current interpretation of the law is simply unfair and virtually impossible to remain consistent on.

The new interpretation of the law came about to prevent attackers gaining an advantage in the case of the ball rebounding off a hand a goal being scored or assisted in the immediate aftermath.

A good example of this in the Champions League is the goal that Tottenham scored en route to knocking Manchester City out of the competition when Fernando Llorente found the back of the net after the ball struck his elbow.

Of course, the rule has been poorly enforced and instead, defenders are the ones being punished.

Llorente’s goal was the first sign that VAR, and the rules the technology enforces, is flawed. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE TIMES.

As a Liverpool fan, I was happy to see Spurs beat Manchester City in the Champions League in 2018/19 but nobody wants to see teams ejected for the wrong reasons and this won’t be the first time it happens.

If FIFA, the Premier League and UEFA can make these two changes, it will improve VAR’s overall performance in the major leagues and competitions in Europe.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.
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