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EPL clubs to vote on scrapping VAR

Premier League clubs are set to make a pivotal decision regarding the fate of video assistant referees (VAR) in the league’s upcoming annual general meeting next month.

Wolves have officially submitted a resolution to the Premier League, paving the way for a vote among the 20 member clubs when they convene in Harrogate on June 6th.

The outcome of this vote will determine whether VAR will continue to be a part of Premier League matches from next season onwards.

The debate surrounding VAR has been ongoing since its introduction, with proponents arguing for its role in ensuring fairness and accuracy in officiating, while detractors have criticized its implementation and impact on the flow of the game.

The upcoming AGM marks a critical moment for the Premier League as clubs deliberate on the future of VAR and its implications for the league’s competitiveness and fan experience. Stay tuned for updates as the decision unfolds.

The club said VAR was introduced “in good faith” but has led to “numerous unintended negative consequences that are damaging the relationship between fans and football”.

VAR was introduced in 2019 to help support on-field officials with key match decisions, but there have been a number of controversial incidents involving the technology this season.

“The price we are paying for a small increase in accuracy is at odds with the spirit of our game,” read a Wolves statement.

The Premier League said it “acknowledged the concerns” about VAR but “fully supports” technology and will continue to work with referees’ body PGMOL to make improvements.

Any rule changes need a two-thirds majority – 14 of of the 20 clubs – to vote in favour.

Premier League clubs have already voted for semi-automated offside technology to be introduced for the 2024-25 season.

A number of Premier League managers have been critical of VAR and of refereeing standards this season, including Wolves boss Gary O’Neil

O’Neil was given a one-match touchline ban in April for his conduct near the referee’s room after a game against West Ham, which saw Wolves have a late equaliser disallowed following a VAR check.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi also questioned the role of VAR after the West Ham game and said the club would be higher in the table “if it wasn’t for a number of incorrect or contentious decisions”.

One of the most high-profile VAR mistakes to date is Luis Diaz’s goal that was incorrectly disallowed for offside for Liverpool at Tottenham in October.

The Premier League said the incident highlighted “systemic weaknesses in the VAR process” and that “key learnings and immediate actions” were taken.



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