Published On: Wed, May 15th, 2024
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Premier League could scrap VAR next season as one club triggers mass vote | Football | Sport


Premier League clubs will vote on a proposal to abolish VAR ahead of next season. The technology has been used in the top-flight since 2019 but has split opinion among key stakeholders.

Despite being introduced to improve the accuracy of refereeing decisions, VAR has generated plenty of controversy over the last five years. Some clubs have at times been at odds with the authorities over key decisions.

Liverpool were infamously denied a goal against Tottenham earlier this season, with a misunderstanding between the officials leading to Luis Diaz incorrectly having a goal ruled out for offside.

Premier League side Wolves have formally submitted a resolution to the Premier League calling for VAR to be scrapped this summer. It will reportedly trigger a vote among the 20 representatives at their annual meeting in Harrogate on June 6, where in order for a motion to pass it must receive at least 14 votes.

A Wolves statement said that the move came “after careful consideration and with the utmost respect for the Premier League, (referees body) PGMOL and our fellow competitors.”

It continued: “There is no blame to be placed – we are all just looking for the best possible outcome for football – and all stakeholders have been working hard to try and make the introduction of additional technology a success.

“However, after five seasons of VAR in the Premier League, it is time for a constructive and critical debate on its future.

“Our position is that the price we are paying for a small increase in accuracy is at odds with the spirit of our game, and as a result we should remove it from the 2024/25 season onwards.”

A Premier League spokesperson told The Athletic: “The Premier League can confirm it will facilitate a discussion on VAR with our clubs at the annual general meeting next month.

“Clubs are entitled to put forward proposals at shareholders’ meetings and we acknowledge the concerns and issues around the use of VAR.

“However, the league fully supports the use of VAR and remains committed, alongside PGMOL, to make continued improvements to the system for the benefit of the game and fans.”

Premier League data suggests there has been a major improvement in the accuracy of decisions made since VAR’s introduction, going up from 82 per cent to 96 per cent. Last month, Sweden became the first major nation to scrap the technology.



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