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Premier League clubs set to hold a vote on scrapping VAR next season

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The Premier League is set to vote on a proposal to scrap the video assistant referee (VAR) system at its annual general meeting next month, reports The Athletic.

VAR has been used in the English top-flight since the 2019-20 season, with the aim of improving refereeing decisions.

However, the system has been plagued by controversy, with many questioning its effectiveness. The 2023-24 season has seen numerous contentious VAR calls, leading to calls for a change.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers submitted a formal resolution to scrap VAR, sparking the upcoming vote. Wolves argue that the downsides of VAR outweigh the benefits.

They list a number of negative consequences, including reduced goal celebrations, fan frustration due to lengthy checks, a more hostile atmosphere, and a disruption to the game’s pace. Wolves believe VAR also undermines the referee’s authority and damages trust in officiating standards.

The Premier League board disagrees and believes VAR is still the best option.

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They point to increased accuracy in decisions since its introduction and innovations like semi-automated offside technology that are improving the system.

Sweden recently became the first European nation to reject VAR implementation due to fan backlash.

A two-thirds majority (14 out of 20 clubs) is needed to abolish VAR. The Premier League will continue to improve VAR if it remains.

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This controversial decision will be decided by the Premier League clubs next month. The outcome will determine whether VAR remains or if the English top-flight joins Sweden in rejecting the technology.

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