Referee chief explains plan for increased VAR access – but ‘we can’t play it live’

On Monday night, the former official went over a few of the two-way audio exchanges from this season.

Howard Webb, the head of the referees, claims that it is likely to become commonplace to broadcast conversations between on-pitch officials and VARs regarding significant Premier League incidents.

On Monday night, Webb discussed a few of the two-way audio exchanges from this season with Sky Sports analysts Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher as part of a pilot feature.

The trio examined several incidents, including Chelsea’s Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard of Arsenal’s disallowed goals against Liverpool and Leicester, respectively, as well as the overturning of a penalty for a handball by Gunners defender Jakub Kiwior in their 2-0 victory at Newcastle on May 7.

Webb, the chief refereeing official at Professional Game Match Officials Limited, said, “We’re looking to do this as much as we possibly can and obviously tonight is something new.”

“We are progressing marginally. In the upcoming season, we intend to continue doing the same thing.

“FIFA won’t let us play this out live; it’s against the rules of the game. Who can predict where that will end up in the future?

“However, nothing prevents us from doing what we’re doing tonight and showing it later.

“I hope tonight has been a good insight as we’ve pulled back that curtain to reveal the way the officials work together as a team and some of the justification for some of the decisions that have been made.

“We’ve made an effort to present a variety of scenarios, and moving forward, we plan to continue doing so.”

Nearly all of the incidents that were chosen for the program had favorable things to say about the use of VAR.

As decisions were discussed and reviewed, the audience could hear ongoing conversations between on-field officials and those at Stockley Park.

Other incidents examined included the overturning of a Joelinton offside call in Newcastle’s 5-1 victory at West Ham last month and the penalty awarded to Brentford in their 2-0 victory over Bournemouth in January.

The only contentious event that was investigated was the spot-kick that referee Jarred Gillett gave for Marcos Senesi’s determined tug on Ivan Toney.

Webb acknowledged that the choice was incorrect because Cherries defender Senesi had actually been fouled by Bees striker Toney. Due to the VAR review of the footage not starting early enough, he blamed process rather than judgement.

Ivan Toney fouled Senesi in this instance, and Webb observed that Senesi then crossed Ivan Toney with his arm.

“It was checked by the VAR but really this was a process issue where the sequence the VAR looked at didn’t start early enough, it didn’t quite show how that contact came to happen, it was already happening when he started to look at it,” the VAR said.

“In this case, it’s more about the process than about making a decision. Bournemouth should have been given a free kick as punishment for this.

“We must do it correctly as VAR. We have the means to see this, and since it’s obvious, we ought to intervene.”

Igbo Kennedy

Igbo Kennedy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *