The video assistant referee (VAR) came to help on-field referees to fix any mistakes they could make. However, this system has received plenty of criticism in recent times due to the mistakes they have made, especially in the Premier League.
Premier League VAR officials have incorrectly overturned four big decisions in recent weeks, in what referees chief Mike Riley describes as “the worst outcome” of the new system. The new technology hasn’t gained a lot of fans because of the things we’ve seen in recent matches.
Manchester City weren’t awarded a penalty for a handball by Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, with Reds midfielder Fabinho scoring at the other end seconds later, bringing more criticism for VAR.
The assistant referee didn’t intervene in that opportunity, but now the Mail Online have revealed four incidents in which the changing of the on-field referee’s decision by the VAR was the wrong call.
“The worst outcome is when the referee on the field makes right decision and the VAR intervenes to make wrong decision,” said Riley, the former Premier League official who now heads up the Professional Game Match Officials Board.
“It will happen. That is part of the balance of understanding what is clear and obvious.
“Look at any country that has put in VAR, everyone has to go through a learning curve. We are going through that now.”
This review concluded that the VAR was wrong to disallow Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ late goal for Arsenal against Crystal Palace last month, with the match finishing in a 2-2 draw.
Besides, it is said that Brighton shouldn’t have been given a penalty against Everton last month when Michael Keane stepped on Aaron Connolly’s foot. The Seagulls ended up winning that game, as they scored the spot-kick to get the 3-2 victory.
The on-field referees also failed to award penalties when Manchester United’s Daniel James was ‘fouled’ by Norwich defender Ben Godfrey, and Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu went down near Chelsea’s Jorginho.
Both plays were eventually given as penalties, but the initial decisions were the right ones.
This is a learning process, indeed, so fans will have to give time to this system to get better and work the proper way.