Wolverhampton Wanders' plea goes void as Premier League teams vote in favour of keeping VAR

After the Annual general meeting held earlier today which included representatives of all the 20 Premier League teams, it has been decided that the VAR will be retained for the upcoming season.

Saatvik Oberoi
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VAR to stay (Source : Twitter)
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The Premier League clubs voted 19-1 in favour of retaining video assisted referees (VAR) for the next season. Wolves requested a vote on the deployment of VAR during the 2024-25 campaign after presenting a formal resolution to the English Premier League in May.

14 out of 20 Premier League teams required to cast a vote in favour of scrapping VAR. According to BBC Sport, Wolves did not receive support during Thursday's annual annual meeting. The Premier League is under growing pressure to amend VAR, which was used at the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign.

Semi-automated offsides are expected to be adopted in the summer, according to the meeting, and the Premier League agreed that in-game VAR announcements would be implemented. Referees will explain post-VAR judgements to supporters in stadiums using in-game announcements similar to those used at the FIFA women's World Cup 2023.

Wolverhampton Wanderers filed a motion following a series of judgements that ruled against Gary O'Neil's team during the previous season. The Midlands club cited nine reasons to back its demand to remove VAR, including the influence on goal celebrations, antagonism towards match officials, and the time required to make decisions.

Premier League’s official statement on keeping VAR

An official statement from the English Premier League spoke about the ongoing issue as they said, “As part of thorough discussions at the Annual General Meeting, it was agreed that PGMOL, the Premier League and clubs all have important roles to play in improving the system and its reputation. While VAR produces more accurate decision-making, it was agreed that improvements should be made for the benefit of the game and supporters.”

The statement added, “As part of ongoing work to improve VAR, six key areas were focused on as part of discussions with clubs:

1) Maintaining a high threshold for VAR intervention to deliver greater consistency and less interruptions to the flow of the game.

2) Reducing delays to the game, primarily through the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and the maintained high threshold for VAR intervention.

3) Improving fan experience through a reduction in the delays, in-stadium announcements from referees after a post-VAR change of decision and where possible, an enhanced offering of big screen replays to include all VAR interventions.

4) Working with PGMOL on the implementation of more robust VAR training to improve consistency, including an emphasis on speed of process while preserving accuracy.

5) Increasing transparency and communication around VAR – including expanded communications from Premier League Match Centre and through broadcast programming such as "Match Officials Mic’d Up".

6) The delivery of a fan and stakeholder VAR communication campaign, which will seek to further clarify VAR’s role in the game to participants and supporters.

English Premier League