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VAR experiment on Saturday saw Newcastle v Arsenal one of five trial games – Overall only one decision wrong

3 years ago

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) are keen to see VAR in place for next (2019/20) season’s Premier League campaign.

Referees hoping to have the technology available to help them in what at times, can be an impossible job.

To help the process along, five Premier League matches on Saturday afternoon were selected, including Newcastle v Arsenal for a trial run.

The five 3pm kick-offs being used as a dummy run for the implementation of VAR, though of course this trial was without the feedback communicated to the match officials.

Ironically, it was one of the least contentious Saturday afternoons you could imagine, with Sky Sports revealing that only one decision over the entire five matches, would have been changed – if VAR had been allowed to affect the matches.

The Newcastle v Arsenal game only had two shots on target at each end, with nothing springing to mind that decided anything in the game of any consequence, that was controversial.

The only VAR change would have been at the Etihad, Man City beat Fulham 3-0 but it could/should have been four, as Leroy Sane was cheated out of an extra goal.

Sky Sports:

The Premier League tested VAR in all five of Saturday’s 3pm kick-offs and only one decision would have been overturned.

The tests revealed Leroy Sane’s disallowed goal in Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Fulham would have been allowed to stand if a video assistant referee had been in use.

VAR will be used in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this seasons if the ties are being played at Premier League grounds.

Before the beginning of the season, clubs voted to not implement the system for league games.

It is understood the Premier League is happy with how the trial panned out over the weekend.

The Mag – 6 September 2018:

Newcastle United are set to be part of a VAR (Video Assistant Referee) trial in the Premier League.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) are keen to push on the initiative in England and want to prove the system is fully fit for purpose.

Before then presenting its findings to the Premier League clubs next year, with the aim of fully introducing it from next (2019/20) season.

It is intended that 15 matches will be used in this trial run, starting with five matches on Saturday 15 September.

One of the five will be the Newcastle v Arsenal game at St James Park.

A big part of this trial run is to make sure that the VAR hub at Stockley Park (near Heathrow) can cope with decisions at multiple matches.

The dummy run will have an ‘as-live’ match scenario using the VAR hub BUT there will be no contact between the VAR team at Stockley Park and the officials on the pitch.

So basically, the initiative is to see whether everything works correctly, but it won’t help/interfere with the referee’s decisions in these trial matches.

VAR was of course used in this summer’s World Cup and Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga have now used VAR for more than a year now.

Carabao Cup and FA Cup ties played at Premier League grounds this season will also use the technology.

I thought that overall it was a big positive at the World Cup and that the odd major negative usually came down to the same old thing, human fallibility. Referees using the technology but then still coming to the wrong decision, or at least a decision that was different to what the rest of us thought.

Obviously the main negative is that use of technology delays the restart of a game when VAR is used but fans have grown sick of the increased level of cheating by players, particularly in terms of diving and the wrestling inside the box at set-pieces, as well as when officials make very obvious mistakes due to having to make a split second decision with often not having had the best view of the incident.

Sky Sports say that the Premier League are confident their decision to delay the introduction of the system until officials grew more familiar with it, has been vindicated.


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