The Professional Game Match Officials Board have confirmed that Premier League officials will alter their use of VAR next season to try and end the controversy caused by the system last year.
Having seen VAR used almost flawlessly at Euro 2020, a number of executives from Premier League sides are understood to have written to the league to request a review of their use of the system, which punished players with game-ruining precision.
Attackers were ruled offside even if they were not gaining an advantage from their start point, while an obscene amount of penalties were given because of a determination to stick to the rules even if common sense would have overruled the decision.
Fortunately, PGMOL chief Mike Riley has confirmed that there will be a complete overhaul of the system, which will move away from ‘forensic scrutiny’ and focus more on clear-cut mistakes from officials.
“Fundamentally, we want the approach to be one that allows players to go out and express themselves and let the game flow,” Riley said (via Sky Sports News). “It means the VAR teams will not intervene for trivial offences and the threshold for referee and VAR intervention will be slightly higher than it was last season.
“We’ve introduced the benefit of the doubt for the attacking player so where we have a really close offside situation, we will follow the same process as last year but now apply thicker broadcast lines.
“Effectively what we have done is given back 20 goals to the game that were deemed offside last season by using quite forensic scrutiny. So it’s the toenails, the noses of players that were offside – they won’t be offside now.”
Riley admitted that there are also plans to review the rules around penalties, insisting contact on its own will no longer be enough to win a spot kick.
“It’s not sufficient to just say there was contact,” Riley added. “Contact on its own is only one element the referee should look for.
“If you have clear contact, that has a consequence, it’s a foul but if you have any doubts, in these elements they are unlikely to be penalised.
“You also want it to be a proper foul and not the slightest contact that someone has used to go over to get a penalty.”