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Premier League’s chief officer confesses about the overuse of VAR

Premier League’s chief football officer Tony Scholes acknowledged that there have been too many VAR checks this season, affecting the experience of fans watching the games.

Although mistakes from the VAR system occur less frequently this season compared to last year, the duration of checks has significantly increased since the error that led to Luis Diaz’s goal for Liverpool against Tottenham being disallowed back in September.

Scholes expressed utmost concern about these delays and admitted that changes to the current process are necessary.

“Clearly everything in the world of VAR is not perfect,” Scholes said. “We’re aware of that and we know that we’ve got work to do. We’re doing too many checks, we’re taking too long in doing them as well. It’s to a degree understandable, given the level of scrutiny these guys are under.

“But the reviews are taking too long and it’s affecting the flow of the game, and we’re extremely aware of that and the need to improve that speed whilst always maintaining the accuracy.”

However, the clear dilemma is the heightened risk of mistakes that accompanies limiting the time spent on a VAR review.

“We don’t want to jeopardise accuracy,” Scholes continued. “But decision times have increased this season and that’s alongside the increased scrutiny that is on the VARs as a result of a couple of high-profile decisions.

“They are taking longer to check, we understand that, but by training and development we want them to focus on making a decision on the facts they see but not having to double or triple check.”

One of the plans aimed at enhancing the fan experience is granting approval for Premier League officials to audibly explain their decisions to fans in stadiums next season, although the league must still formally approve such plans.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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