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The Premier League change a number of criteria for VAR use

Published on: 05 August 2021

The Premier League will get underway for the 2021/22 season on August 13 and, yet again, it will do so with a number of changes having been made to its application and use of VAR.

The technology's use in 2020/21 left a lot of fans, players and coaches unhappy, and so the Premier League have looked to make changes to avoid similar frustration in the season to come.

A number of changes have been made.

Marginal offsides

"We have effectively reintroduced the benefit of the doubt to the attacking player," Mike Riley, managing director of PGMOL said.

"So in a really close offside situation we carry on following the same processes that we did last year with VAR. We apply the one-pixel lines, placing the defending line and then the attacking line.

"We then put on the thicker broadcast lines and where they overlap, those situations will now be deemed as onside. So effectively, what we give back to the game is 20 goals that were disallowed last season."

As well, the images shared with television viewers will change. In recent seasons, live images were shown as the officials worked out whether or not an attacking player was offside. Now, though, only the final images will be shown and not the drawing of the lines, similarly to how it was at Euro 2020.

Assistant referees delaying raising a flag for offside

Assistant referees had delayed raising their flags if a goalscoring opportunity was expected to come, even in the event of suspecting an offside. Then, once a goal had been scored or the chance had gone, the flags would be raised.

Now, though, the bar for a goalscoring opportunity will be raised. So, for example, if a player receives the ball in an offside position on the wing, they may be flagged as offside.

What contact is needed for a foul to be called?

"The experience we have had over the last couple of seasons is that the Premier League is all about competitive and compelling contact," Riley said.

"We've lost a bit of that contact sport, probably because of the intervention of VAR. The experience of the Euros has shown that people will appreciate it if you allow the game to flow, if you accept that some small contacts just aren't fouls; they are part of the game.

"And the feedback we've had from clubs and players is to raise that threshold, so referees don't go forensically looking for minute contact but consider three factors: is there clear and proper contact? Does that contact have a consequence - does it make somebody fall over? Or is the motivation of the player to use that little contact to go down?

"So if you have clear contact with clear consequences, that is what you penalise, but leave the small things alone, on the pitch and in the VAR Hub."

Source: m.allfootballapp.com

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