Premier League referees will reportedly provide explanations for VAR decisions to fans during games starting next season.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has granted approval for officials to offer explanations in EPL fixtures, following successful trials in club matches in Mexico and Portugal.
The final decision will likely occur at the Premier League AGM in June. If approved, the Premier League is likely to implement a system similar to the one used at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, where referees were mic’d up and explained their decisions to the crowd after reviewing replays.
Since joining PGMOL in 2022 as the chief of Premier League referees, Howard Webb has advocated for increased transparency. However, the transition to this more open system necessitates the approval of top-flight teams.
This initiative is part of a broader plan to enhance officiating in the game, particularly when utilizing VAR. The report specifies that there are currently no intentions to broadcast conversations between the referee and other match officials during games. Nevertheless, audio recordings will be accessible to broadcasters after matches.
Referees, including Anthony Taylor, implemented this system in 2023 at the Club World Cup in Morocco, and the trial was subsequently extended to the men’s Under-20 World Cup and the Women’s World Cup later that year. IFAB reportedly granted approval to these plans after successful trials in Mexico’s LIGA MX division and the Portuguese League Cup this month.
The next step is contingent on Premier League teams endorsing this proposal during the upcoming summer vote. If approved, fans might witness this system in action at the commencement of the 2024/25 EPL campaign in August.