Premier League to turn to VAR from next season

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LONDON: Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to introduce video assistant referees (VAR) from the start of next season, they said on Thursday.

The top leagues in Spain, Italy, and Germany are already using VAR, which allows disputed incidents to be reviewed with the use of video replays, and the technology was used at the World Cup in Russia this year.

The English clubs were provided with an update on this season’s VAR trials, with key examples of its use in the FA Cup and League Cup discussed in detail.

“The League will now formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and (world body) FIFA to use VAR next season,” the Premier League said in a statement.

The League has been using goal-line technology since 2013.

The decision comes after contentious refereeing decisions overshadowed a 1-1 league draw between Southampton and Watford last weekend.

Southampton striker Charlie Austin demanded the introduction of VAR after his goal was disallowed by referee Simon Hooper, who deemed Maya Yoshida to have interfered with the ball from an offside position.

The introduction of the technology comes after clubs voted unanimously against its use in England’s top flight during the 2018-19 campaign, instead agreeing to continue testing of the system.

“The Premier League’s non-live testing programme will remain in place for the rest of this season, with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently,” the League added.

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