VAR in the Premier League: Verdict So Far

There has been a lot of debate and controversy around VAR in recent weeks. Introduced into the Premier League to ensure crucial decisions are just and fair, the video assistant referee has so far failed to overturn four incorrect decisions during the first four weeks of Premier League matches.

There have been 227 incidents during Premier League games involving goals, red card offences and penalty decisions, some given, and others not.

Of those incidents, six decisions were overturned by VAR once reviewed.

However, referees’ chief Mike Riley has now said he believes four more incidents should have been changed.

The four incidents in question are:

  • Penalty appeals from Manchester City for a foul on captain David Silva in their 3-1 win away to Bournemouth. Riley believes this should have been given.
  • A foul on West Ham striker Sebastian Haller in their win against Norwich City should have resulted in a penalty. Luckily for the Hammers, the decision did not affect them getting 3 points.
  • Leicester City and Belgian international Youri Tielemans should seen red for his foul on Bournemouth forward Callum Wilson. Leicester won 3-1 but if they were down to 10 men, would the game have been different?
  • A handball by Newcastle United’s Isaac Hayden was missed in the build-up to Fabian Schar’s equaliser against Watford. Had VAR seen this incident, Watford may have taken 3 points back to Vicarage Road.

There’s no doubt that VAR has also made a lot of correct and important decisions too, and it will take a while before everyone is on board with the technology. There’s also been dissatisfaction that it’s disrupting the momentum of games and taking away the euphoria of scoring a goal, as players and fans are both waiting to see if it stands before they can celebrate.

Overall, the Premier League say they are reasonably satisfied with how VAR is being used and will continue to support the decision of introducing it into the Premier League.


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