Premier League Responds to VAR Criticisms – Acknowledges Issues and Promises Improvement

Arsenal and Liverpool’s grievances with VAR this season have prompted responses from the Premier League, acknowledging the need for improvements.

Despite criticisms from both clubs through public statements, the league’s chief of football, Tony Scholes, emphasizes ongoing consultations with managers.

However, he concedes that the VAR system requires refinement.

Clubs’ Public Statements:

Arsenal and Liverpool’s controversial statements regarding VAR decisions that went against them become a focal point.

The acknowledgment of these public grievances by Tony Scholes indicates a certain level of discord between the clubs and the league.

Highlighting the public nature of the clubs’ complaints adds context to the league’s response, portraying it as a challenge to address issues through official channels rather than public statements.

Acknowledgment of VAR Issues:

Tony Scholes concedes that VAR is not flawless and commits to addressing its shortcomings.

He acknowledges the increased decision times this season and the negative impact on the flow of the game.

The league expresses a commitment to improving the speed of VAR checks while maintaining accuracy, addressing concerns from clubs and fans alike.

Tony Scholes’ acknowledgment of the issues demonstrates transparency and a willingness to work on the problems within the VAR system.

Areas for Improvement:

The Premier League identifies two crucial areas for improvement: the time taken for referees to make decisions post-VAR intervention and the in-stadium experience for fans during VAR reviews.

Scholes outlines plans to streamline decision times and enhance the supporter experience, recognizing the current shortcomings in the implementation of VAR.

Defining specific areas for improvement shows a strategic approach to refining VAR, focusing on key aspects that impact the game and fan engagement.

Challenges with IFAB Rules:

Scholes discusses the constraints imposed by IFAB rules, particularly regarding the use of audio during VAR processes.

While expressing a personal view on a future where both video and audio are more openly shared with supporters, he highlights the existing limitations and the ongoing efforts to influence IFAB regulations.

The mention of challenges with IFAB rules adds a layer of complexity to the league’s attempts to enhance transparency in VAR communication.

Exploration of Time Limits:

The possibility of imposing time limits on VAR checks is discussed, with Scholes expressing caution about potentially compromising the accuracy of decisions.

Balancing the need for quick decisions with maintaining accuracy becomes a key consideration in the league’s approach to VAR.

The discussion on time limits offers insights into the delicate balance the league aims to strike between speed and accuracy.

Semi-Automated Offsides:

Scholes reveals ongoing testing of semi-automated offsides and the league’s cautious approach.

While acknowledging the potential for quicker decision-making, he emphasizes the need for certainty that the technology will enhance, not detract from, the accuracy of decision-making.

The league’s cautious stance on semi-automated offsides highlights a commitment to ensuring the technology’s effectiveness before implementation.


The response from the Premier League concludes with insights into the ongoing testing and decision-making processes regarding semi-automated offsides.

Scholes leaves room for future developments but emphasizes the importance of thorough testing and certainty before introducing any significant changes.

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