Premier League referees using VAR incorrectly, claims sport’s law-making body IFAB

The International Football Association Board have confirmed that there will be no change in the sport’s rules for the foreseeable future

The Premier League is using the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system incorrectly by utilising it in an attempt to pinpoint close offside calls which take lengthy stoppages out of the game, according to football’s law-makers.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) have confirmed that there will be no changes in the sport’s regulation and rules for the foreseeable future following another weekend that was marked by controversial calls in the English top-flight.

Five goals were ruled out across 10 games staged in the final round of 2019, with Crystal Palace, Brighton, Wolves, Norwich City and Sheffield United all finding themselves on the wrong end of those decisions.

Players, managers and fans were left fuming, with widespread cries for changes, but the IFAB have instead stated that they will contact competitions reliant on VAR in order to reissue a reminder of guidelines, likely after their next general meeting in February.

The organisation further suggested that the Premier League’s approach to the system in regards to marginal offsides – with several scores chalked off for toes and fingernails being deemed over the advantage line – is in contrast to VAR’s intention.

“Clear and obvious still remains – it’s an important principle. There should not be a lot of time spent to find something marginal,” Lukas Brud, the general secretary of IFAB, told the Press Association.

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“If something is not clear on the first sight, then it’s not obvious and it shouldn’t be considered. Looking at one camera angle is one thing but looking at 15, trying to find something that was potentially not even there, this was not the idea of the VAR principle. It should be clear and obvious.”

The reminder is likely to leave many confused as to why the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body responsible for overseeing the implementation of VAR in the top-flight, have failed to utilise the system correctly, particularly in response to the number of replays that are typically viewed for tight calls.

VAR was approved for the Premier League in November 2018 and has been enabled since the start of the season.

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