Express & Star

Wolves proposal to scrap VAR fails - but changes are on the way

Premier League clubs have voted to keep VAR after Wolves triggered a vote to scrap it.

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Wolves released a statement on May 15 calling for VAR to be shelved, citing the negative impact it was having on games and the atmosphere in stadiums.

Today, in a vote at the Premier League's annual general meeting, Wolves were the only club to vote in favour of scrapping the technology, with the other 19 clubs voting to keep it.

In a statement from the Premier League, it outlined ways they will now aim to improve VAR with it to continue being used in top flight games.

The statement read: "While VAR produces more accurate decision-making, it was agreed that improvements should be made for the benefit of the game and supporters.

"As part of thorough discussions at the Annual General Meeting, it was agreed that PGMOL, the Premier League and clubs all have important roles to play in improving the system and its reputation."

As a result, the league has provided 'six key areas' they will now look to focus on:

1) Maintaining a high threshold for VAR intervention to deliver greater consistency and less interruptions to the flow of the game.

2) Reducing delays to the game, primarily through the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and the maintained high threshold for VAR intervention.

3) Improving fan experience through a reduction in the delays, in-stadium announcements from referees after a post-VAR change of decision and where possible, an enhanced offering of big screen replays to include all VAR interventions.

4) Working with PGMOL on the implementation of more robust VAR training to improve consistency, including an emphasis on speed of process while preserving accuracy.

5) Increasing transparency and communication around VAR – including expanded communications from Premier League Match Centre and through broadcast programming such as Match Officials Mic’d Up.

6) The delivery of a fan and stakeholder VAR communication campaign, which will seek to further clarify VAR’s role in the game to participants and supporters.

Meanwhile, semi-automated offside technology will be rolled out in the Premier League this autumn.

The league said: "The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.

"The Premier League and PGMOL will continue to lobby IFAB to allow greater flexibility in the Laws of the Game to allow live video and audio broadcast during VAR reviews."