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‘Stop using the lines in VAR reviews’ – Keith Hackett sends a strong new year’s message to PGMOL

As we come to the end of the year, VAR remains in the headlines with a mistake seeming to happen as a weekly occurrence.

Whether it be the on-pitch referee being advised by Stockley Park that something is amiss, or those operating the VAR have missed something themselves, in its current set up VAR is clearly still not fit for purpose.

The technology too, or perhaps the application of the same, has also left a lot to be desired.

Former head of the refereeing body PGMOL, Keith Hackett, a senior ex-ref himself, believes that the errors with VAR are manifold, and he has a strong new year’s message for those in charge.

“Stop using the lines in VAR reviews. Offsides should be reviewed by a fully trained and competent assistant referee visually, without using the lines,” he told CaughtOffside.

“There is currently an age/experience gap between the referee and VAR, and this relationship is impacting on decisions. For example, when a new ref is operating VAR with a very experienced official on the pitch.

“All reviews should result in the referee maintaining full control of the decision making process by viewing the monitor.

“The major weakness of VAR is a lack of communication with the fans. I would like to see the system operated in the same way as rugby union.”

Coming as he does from a standpoint of authority, as one of the main people behind having goal-line technology introduced into the Premier League and a go-to resource for many, Hackett’s views can’t just be dismissed as ramblings from an aggrieved party.

PGMOL and the Premier League would do well to seek his counsel in future.

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