VAR finds its way to EPL starting this Sunday


Premier League clubs were  provided with an update on plans for the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in the competition in the new season.

This included details on in-stadium communications, in particular when there is a clear delay to a match because of VAR, and when refereeing decisions are over-turned due to the intervention of VAR.


The Premier League has created graphics which will be displayed on giant screens to explain any VAR-related delay to a match, and any overturned decision.


Additionally, if the VAR believes there is a definitive video clip which helps explain an overturned decision, it will be broadcast on giant screens.

Also, the Premier League is investigating the possibility of messages and video clips being viewed on handheld devices via an app.

For clubs who do not have giant screens in their stadium, VAR communications will be made via a combination of PA announcements and messages on scoreboards.

Why was VAR introduced?

Over the years there have been some high-profile matches around the world where, through no fault of their own, match officials make mistakes. Those mistakes have had an impact on the outcome.

Immediately people can see things on TV, on their phones, and know mistakes have been made. So if you have that power of technology, why not harness it to help what is happening on the pitch?

While VAR will not capture everything, it will help us make more better decisions. But it will not stop the debate over decisions next season. 

How does VAR work?

VAR looks at four key areas: all goals scored; penalty kicks, whether they’re awarded or not; direct red-card offences – not second yellow cards but straight reds; and any case of mistaken identity.

AR will be tested on all 10 Premier League matches on Sunday [ photo courtesy]

There will be a VAR and an Assistant VAR for each match at our hub at Stockley Park, outside London. They will look at those four key areas and can request from a replay operator any angles of incidents. The operator can provide them with replays in normal speed or in slow motion.

The officials will use that information to work out: “Is what the on-field match official team did clearly and obviously wrong in those four key areas?” 

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