Reports indicate that the Premier League is poised for a significant VAR overhaul starting next season, prompted by a series of controversies during the current season.
VAR faced scrutiny, particularly after a mistaken decision disallowing a Liverpool goal for offside against Tottenham in September. Arsenal also found themselves in two separate incidents where goals stood despite concerns about the ball going out of play against Newcastle and West Ham.
Additionally, questions arose over the failure to award Liverpool a penalty against Arsenal for a perceived handball, acknowledged as an error by PGMOL chief Howard Webb on the ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’ show.
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According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League is set to adopt a major change to the VAR process, aligning with other sports. Starting next season, referees will have the ability to explain their decision-making to fans inside the stadium during matches. This approach, akin to cricket’s Dynamic Review System (DRS), will allow referees to communicate each step of their decision-making, complementing on-screen visuals.
Similar communication processes are observed in rugby union and league, with the NFL employing instant replay to collaborate with on-field operators and replay officials for accurate decisions.
While the ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’ show has been praised for offering insights into VAR decisions, the live communication aspect has been absent in the Premier League. This forthcoming change is expected to address this gap and is likely to find favor with figures like Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who has been vocal in criticizing VAR this season.