Referees ordered not to check VAR screens during matches after difficult introduction to the Premier League
- VAR has attracted controversy during the opening rounds of Premier League
- Officials discouraged referees from checking pitch-side screens during games
- PGMOL would rather be criticised for too little intervention from the technology
Premier League refereeing chiefs will resist calls for officials to start using their pitch-side monitors for VAR checks as they feel it will slow the game down too much.
The video referees came under fire on Sunday as fans claimed Manchester City and Tottenham were denied penalties.
VAR neither overturned the referees’ decisions nor telling them to review the incident on their monitors.
Referees have been encouraged not to use pitch-side VAR monitors in Premier League games
There have been criticisms of VAR after decisions affecting Manchester City and Tottenham
But English refereeing organisation PGMOL are determined not to rush into any knee-jerk reaction.
They will stand by their current version of VAR, which is based on minimum interference.
Insiders say PGMOL would rather be criticised for using the technology too little than too much, but they are open to making changes to the system after they speak with top-flight clubs at a shareholders’ meeting in September. It is understood that many clubs are keen for VAR to be more heavily involved.
City in particular looked hard done by on Sunday when Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma stood on David Silva’s foot in the box. Referee Andre Marriner awarded nothing and VAR Kevin Friend decided against overruling.
Sportsmail columnist and former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg was amazed that Marriner was not advised to take a second look at the incident on his monitor.
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‘The main concern is that the referee on the pitch is not offered another chance to see subjective incidents,’ Clattenburg said.
‘I raised this a while back. The reason they do not want this is because they fear it will slow the game down.’
There has been considerable surprise that not a single Premier League referee has consulted his monitor to watch a replay of a contentious incident.
Like City, Tottenham were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty at the weekend. Neither Mike Dean nor video referee Anthony Taylor gave anything after Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles’ challenge on Harry Kane.
The reason for VAR’s lack of involvement in those two incidents and others is due to their ‘high bar of intervention’.
Officials do not want to be seen as re-refereeing from afar, and would prefer to stand by their referees’ on-field decisions wherever possible.