Premier League clubs vote against scrapping VAR
Premier League clubs vote against scrapping VAR
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Premier League clubs vote on whether to keep or scrap VAR at Annual General Meeting

VAR will still be in operation in the Premier League next season after clubs voted against scrapping it. A proposal was put forward by Wolves to remove the review system, but it fell well short of receiving the 14 votes required. 

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Last season featured several controversial Video Assistant Referee (VAR) interventions and PGMOL chief Howard Webb outlined six ways in which he hopes it will be improved going forward.

Premier League clubs have voted against scrapping VAR in their Annual General Meeting which was held on Thursday morning.

Wolverhampton Wanderers submitted a proposal back in May calling to get rid of the system after being involved in several controversial decisions throughout the course of last season.

It required 14 votes to pass but the vast majority of the 20 top-flight clubs backed keeping the review system which was introduced in 2019.

The vote was 19-1 in favour of keeping it, with Wolves the only team to vote in favour.

A Premier League statement read "Premier League clubs today voted in favour of continuing to operate VAR in the Premier League.  

"While VAR produces more accurate decision-making, it was agreed that improvements should be made for the benefit of the game and supporters.

"As part of thorough discussions at the Annual General Meeting, it was agreed that PGMOL, the Premier League and clubs all have important roles to play in improving the system and its reputation.

"As part of ongoing work to improve VAR, six key areas were focussed on as part of discussions with clubs:

"1) Maintaining a high threshold for VAR intervention to deliver greater consistency and less interruptions to the flow of the game.

"2) Reducing delays to the game, primarily through the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and the maintained high threshold for VAR intervention.

"3) Improving fan experience through a reduction in the delays, in-stadium announcements from referees after a post-VAR change of decision and where possible, an enhanced offering of big screen replays to include all VAR interventions.

"4) Working with PGMOL on the implementation of more robust VAR training to improve consistency, including an emphasis on speed of process while preserving accuracy.

"5) Increasing transparency and communication around VAR – including expanded communications from Premier League Match Centre and through broadcast programming such as Match Officials Mic’d Up.

"6) The delivery of a fan and stakeholder VAR communication campaign, which will seek to further clarify VAR’s role in the game to participants and supporters.

"It was confirmed in April that Semi-Automated Offside Technology will be introduced in the autumn of 2024.

"The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters. 

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