Video Assistant Referee technology (VAR) has once again become a major talking point in a Premier League match.
While many see it as the top league in the world, controversy regarding refereeing decisions regularly haunts the division. It did not take long for this to continue during matchday 11 of the schedule.
Fulham hosted Manchester United on Saturday in the first Premier League game of the weekend. The Red Devils thought they had an early lead in the match after Scott McTominay put the ball into the net from close range. However, the goal was eventually ruled out after a lengthy VAR review.
VAR officials took a look at several replays of the incident involving Harry Maguire. The center back was ruled to have been offside and affecting the play before the ball eventually fell to Alejandro Garnacho.
The winger latched on to the long pass into the box and squared the ball to McTominay in front of goal. Nevertheless, the strike would not count after match referee John Brooks reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Leicester defender says Championship is better without technology
Former Premier League star Conor Coady was commentating on the aforementioned match with BBC Radio. The defender now plays for Leicester City in the Championship. Coady criticized the nearly four-minute VAR review and claimed that the second-tier division was better for not having VAR.
“You do not have any of this [in the Championship], and I might be wrong saying this, but it’s just better. It’s better. The flow of the game, everything that comes along with it,” Coady said of VAR not being in the Championship.
“Alright, the referee made a mistake, but think about how big that is for Manchester United,” continued the defender. “We’re talking about the game now and that is huge for Manchester United to ease a bit of pressure knowing that Fulham don’t score too many goals. So that’s a massive decision. But again, we’re talking about a decision with VAR.”
United did eventually win the match against Fulham. Bruno Fernandes scored the only goal of the game in added time. It was the club’s first win on English soil since October 21st.
English Championship will not introduce VAR due to EPL backlash
The Championship has avoided implementing VAR basically because of its cost. While cheaper alternatives are readily available, the league will reportedly still opt to continue without video replays. According to a report by The Times, the recent controversies surrounding VAR in the Premier League is a deciding factor in the move.
VAR, however, looks set to remain in place with the English top flight. Hints from a leading official in the country likely mean that replays will soon be more common place as well. Nevertheless, more reviews are not what the Premier League needs.
EPL needs semi-automated technology for offside calls
One way for the Premier League to improve while still using replay is to implement semi-automated offside technology. The technology is currently in place in leagues such as the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and Serie A. The offside reviews are significantly faster than traditional VAR reviews and do not include human error.
Nevertheless, Premier League officials rejected bringing the technology to the league this past summer. Nike, the ball supplier of the division, also has not even tested the technology in their products. The aforementioned leagues with semi-automated offside technology currently use Adidas balls. Despite the decision, many Premier League fans will be hoping that the league soon changes their mind regarding the technology.
Photo credits: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images : IMAGO / Xinhua
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