The audio between on-field referees and VAR officials in the Premier League is now available. As the officials deliberate potential penalties and red cards, they discuss the minute details of what may or may not be an infraction.
Match Officials Mic’d Up is a Premier League show that goes into these conversations. PGMOL Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb breaks down how the show goes into the five different voices heard in the refereeing decisions. There is the central referee, assistant referees, video assistant referees (VAR), assistant VAR and replay operator.
The first edition of fans being able to listen to these referees in action came in response to a recent incident. In the Arsenal game at Newcastle on May 7, Jakub Kiwior interfered with a Bruno Guimarães shot. Originally, the center referee blew the whistle for a penalty. Here is how the Premier League VAR audio sounded in response to that call.
As heard in that debate, the ball did not hit Kiwior’s arm. That helped Arsenal preserve a clean sheet that propelled the Gunners to a 2-0 win.
Premier League VAR audio could become more consistent
In addition to breaking down the audio from select Premier League games, Webb made comments that could point toward a clear and transparent future with VAR audio and decisions.
“We are looking to do this as much as we possibly can,” Webb said. “We have made small steps forward. Going forward into next season, we will be looking to do more.”
Under FIFA laws, this audio cannot be played during the game. In other sports, such as the NFL or more recently the XFL, these referee decisions are more vocal and clear. Regardless, this access to audio provides more transparency. Consequently, fans of the Premier League have more trust in the officials when they have a full explanation. After all, VAR controversies have been rampant this season.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $10.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $14.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo