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IFAB considering possibility of fans hearing referee's explanation on VAR decisions

03 Dec 2019, 20:01 IST

The Premier League and VAR have not enjoyed the best of starts together
The Premier League and VAR have not enjoyed the best of starts together

At the start of the 2019-20 campaign, most of the top leagues across Europe, including the Premier League endorsed the arrival of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, wherein an additional official would be installed to help the referee on the field.

Though the technology was in full flow during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it still represented an enormous jump into unknown territory for the English top-flight. And, unfortunately, those fears haven’t been quelled yet as countless weeks of Premier League action have been overshadowed by decisions made by VAR.

A major facet of concern has been the fans and the lack of communication accorded to them in cases of VAR intervention, thereby degrading the game as a spectacle slightly.

However, if recent developments are to be believed, the IFAB, in its meeting in Belfast, is looking to bring about a mechanism wherein those at the stadium would be provided an explanation about the decision arrived at by the officials.

So far, the on-field referees’ communication channel with their VAR peers has remained out of bounds for the spectators and it seems set to continue that way, although a methodology is being worked out to enable the audience a brief explanation of the rationale behind a particular decision.

Furthermore, the IFAB is also slated to discuss concussion assessment and the management of footballers through the course of the matches. Additionally, the prospective introduction of temporary substitutes would be under debate. 

Thus, the current meeting of the IFAB in Belfast could lead to some major enhancements in the sport over the upcoming months and years. 


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