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Premier League clubs vote to retain VAR for next season

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Premier League clubs vote to retain VAR for next season

English Premier League clubs on Thursday voted to retain use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system next season.

While a statement from the league did not contain figures for the ballot held at its annual general meeting, 19 of the division’s 20 clubs had voted to retain the controversial technology.

The BBC reports that only Wolves, the club that last month called the vote to scrap the system, backed the abolition of VAR.

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The Midlands club had accused VAR of “undermining the value of the Premier League brand” after another season of several debatable decisions.

VAR was introduced in the Premier League in 2019 with the aim of helping referees avoid clear and obvious errors that had marred matches in the past.

But there were numerous controversies surrounding the technology during the recently concluded 2023/24 campaign, with Premier League managers and fans growing increasingly vocal in their disdain for the system.

Following Thursday’s vote, however, the Premier League acknowledged improvements were required.

“While VAR produces more accurate decision making, it was agreed that improvements should be made for the benefit of the game and supporters,” the league said in a statement.

Semi-automated offside technology is set to be introduced next season in the hope this will reduce the length of time needed for offside checks, while in-stadium announcements will be made where an on-field decision is changed following a VAR intervention to keep fans at the ground informed.

The Premier League added the “high threshold” for intervention would also be maintained.

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