Premier League Clubs to Debate Proposal to Scrap VAR

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The Premier League’s 20 clubs are set to discuss a proposal aimed at eliminating the use of video assistant refereeing (VAR) for decision-making during matches.

Wolverhampton Wanderers has submitted a resolution to prompt a vote at the league’s annual general meeting scheduled for June 6. Should at least 14 of the 20 clubs vote in favor, VAR could be removed from Premier League matches.

In its resolution, Wolves expressed concerns that VAR has “resulted in numerous unintended negative consequences that are eroding the relationship between fans and football, and undermining the essence of the Premier League brand.”

“The decision to propose this resolution has been made after careful deliberation and with the utmost respect for the Premier League, PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited – referees’ body), and our fellow competitors,” the club stated.

Wolves emphasized that there is no intent to assign blame, as all stakeholders have been striving to ensure the successful integration of additional technology. However, the club believes it is time for a thorough and critical discussion on the future of VAR after its five-year implementation.

“Our stance is that the trade-off for a marginal increase in accuracy is inconsistent with the spirit of our sport, and therefore we advocate for its removal starting from the 2024/25 season onwards,” added the club.

The Premier League confirmed that there will be a deliberation regarding the future of VAR at the AGM, acknowledging the concerns raised about its use.

The league contends that eliminating video review would likely result in more incorrect decisions. According to league data, the accuracy of decisions in matches has risen from 82% prior to the introduction of VAR to 96% in the current season.

“The league remains fully supportive of VAR and is committed, alongside PGMOL, to ongoing enhancements to the system for the betterment of the sport and its supporters,” stated the competition.

Presently, the Swedish league stands as the sole one among Europe’s top-30 ranked leagues not utilizing video review technology. – Reuters