We all knew, before a ball had even been kicked, that this Premier League season would be unlike any other. Even without a pandemic, a three-month hiatus and a quarter of the campaign played in front of no fans, this was going to be different.The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has had a profound effect on not only the game but the spectacle. Things may never be the same againThe Mail on Sunday have been at the forefront of VAR and how it has been utilised by Mike Riley’s team of officials at Stockley Park.
Our revelations after the very first game of the season showed that the technology used by the VAR to show Raheem Sterling’s toenail was offside, specifically the frame rates of the broadcast cameras, was not advanced enough to tell for certain if a player was offside at the exact point at which the ball was played.
We are told that more correct decisions have been made but at what cost? Lengthy delays with fans left wondering what is going on, fastidious drawing of offside lines on armpits and an almost unshakable reluctance to use the pitchside monitors.
Even then, penalties that look obvious get overlooked in the name of ‘clear and obvious’ errors.FIFA have taken control of VAR, the baton passed to them by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), and, with Pierluigi Collina and Arsene Wenger now the key decision-makers, the world governing body want all federations to apply the
technology the same way.