It’s been learned that the Video Assistant Referee has recently overturned four key decisions that were correctly given by the on-field referee, including Arsenal’s disallowed winner against Crystal Palace.
During a meeting with Premier League managers and shareholders, the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) confirmed that four correct decisions were wrongly overturned by the VAR in recent weeks.
Arsenal’s disallowed winner was the most high-profile decision, but PGMOL chief Mike Riley has urged people to give the system more time to be properly implemented.
“The worst outcome is when the referee on the field makes right decision and the VAR intervenes to make wrong decision,” Riley said, quoted by the Daily Mail. “It will happen. That is part of the balance of understanding what is clear and obvious.
“Look at any country that has put in VAR, everyone has to go through a learning curve. We are going through that now.”
The other decisions that the VAR were deemed to wrongly overturn all involved penalties which were not given by the on-field referee, but which were given after being reviewed.
Brighton’s penalty against Everton, Manchester United’s against Norwich City and Watford’s spot-kick at home to Chelsea have all been ruled as mistakes by the VAR.
It’s worth noting that a mistake from VAR doesn’t necessarily mean that an incorrect decision was made – but rather that it was wrong to intervene as there wasn’t a clear and obvious error.
As far as Riley’s call for patience goes, it’s true that most countries who have already had a Video Assistant Referee in place over the last two seasons have had their teething problems – English football has so far avoided a lot of high-profile errors that could happen.
But the Premier League haven’t come into this season without any knowledge of how a VAR works, and the additional match official has been in place for well over 1,000 games across the world before the start of this season, so calling for more patience from match-goers is starting to wear thin.
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