VAR undergoes reformation and is ready to be used next season again

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has decided to introduce three new rules to the Premier League next season in an attempt to address some of the issues which have arisen this season.

VAR is undoubtedly one of the areas the Premier League needs to work on as this season saw a lot of controversial and inconsistent decisions made by the video assistant referee and it is also noticed that the officials were reluctant to use the pitchside monitors to review incidents themselves. 

During VAR’s debut season, officials were instructed to avoid the use of the monitors to ensure the flow of the game was not disrupted but the IFAB has now decided to make full use of the screens available. 

A statement via the Daily Mail read, 

“Where a reviewable incident is subjective, the expectation is that the referee will undertake an ‘on-field review’. It was furthermore agreed that more insight into the decision-making process, for example, access to the conversation between the match officials during a  review, would not be appropriate at this point but that more effort should be made to enhance existing communication approaches to improve the understanding of the  review process and referee’s final decision.”

A clear decision was made on handball as well. Specifically in the penalty area, starting next season, a penalty will only be given if an accidental handball ‘immediately’ results in a goal, meaning that the ball would only travel a short distance or there are very few passes after the incident. This is one of the biggest changes in the existing rules and probably will trouble all the goalkeepers, who got away because of VAR’s old way of awarding penalties.

In the end, the case of goalkeepers coming off their line during a spot-kick is also about to change. There have been many decisions that have disappointed the viewers and managers with penalties being retaken as soon as the goalkeeper is spotted off his line but now that will happen if the initial kick is saved. If a penalty completely misses the target, it will not be retaken. 

However, encroachment from an outfield player will still result in a retake, regardless of whether the first shot was a goal or not. The aim is that these changes will avoid all sorts of confusion but the IFAB will continue to keep this topic above in the regular meetings in case of any alternatives or loopholes found in the new rules.

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