Premier League 2018/19: VAR Set To Be Used In Next Round Of Matches
In April, the Premier League clubs voted against the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (referred to herewith as "VAR"), feeling that the technology was still in its infancy, and that major changes were required to be made to it before its implementation on a stage as grand as the Premier League.
The official statement read: "Premier League clubs have today agreed to continue advanced testing of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) throughout the 2018/19 season. The decision came after comprehensive discussions regarding the progress made in VAR trials in English football, and key learnings from the many competitions elsewhere using it."
The statement also said, "The Premier League will also be asking for VAR to be used more extensively in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup in season 2018/19."
There have been major concerns about the speed of the game being negatively impacted by the introduction of the VAR, as well as concern for fans inside the stadium who are given little information on what exactly is going on during a VAR check. Consequently, it was agreed to further test the technology in the cup competitions before its use in the PL.
However, with a number of controversial refereeing decisions being committed already, the Premier League sees fit to announce that the VAR will be tested on all the 3pm kick-offs in the PL on September 15th, 2018.
One major difference would be that the video assistant referees behind the system would be having no contact with the on-field referee, presumably to check how often the match official feels the need to independently consult the technology, and to avoid excessive delays on routine checks being conducted and communicated.
The current plan would be to install the VAR in full swing from next season onward, should the testing supply positive results.
The games that will be involved in VAR testing include:
Bournemouth v/s Leicester
Chelsea v/s Cardiff City
Huddersfield Town v/s Crystal Palace
Manchester City v/s Fulham
Newcastle United v/s Arsenal