The PL X series is back with the newest in football technology in the spotlight, stay with us as we look at the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Premier League this season.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the introduction of VAR would make the Premier League more entertaining and fair but it has not been received well at all… apart from by Spurs fans.
The latest team to really suffer at the hands of VAR was Aston Villa in their away game against Crystal Palace.
Being 1-0 down away from home is never an easy task to manoeuvre but in the very last minute of the game at Selhurst Park, Villa looked to have got a very important point before referee Kevin Friend consulted VAR and ruled out the strike by Henri Lansbury.
In a statement, the Premier League said: “The referee considered that Jack Grealish committed an act of simulation in the penalty area, and blew his whistle to stop the game before the ball went into goal.
“Under the IFAB protocol the video assistant referee system (VAR) is allowed to review the potential penalty situation. Having reviewed the incident the VAR judged that no ‘clear and obvious’ error had occurred and the on-field decision of simulation remained.”
In my personal opinion, VAR will eventually better the game. There are so many refinements and so much clarity that needs introducing to the process but ultimately once the powers that be have gone through it with a fine tooth comb it will mean a more consistent approach to the laws of the game being abided.
For now, fans in the stadiums will have to persevere with the constant waiting whilst referees consult with there counterparts in the office and teams will feel the nerves as they ponder any little aspects of goals or decisions made.
Whether you like it or not VAR is here to stay. It’s still the same game of football, just reimagined.