Keith Hackett column: VAR has been a disaster from the day that the Premier League introduced it

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I’m often asked my opinion on the subject of Video Assistant Referee (VAR). Well, it’s been a disaster from the day that the Premier League decided to introduce it.

Firstly they were a year behind other countries. Then in year one, Mike Riley decided – wrongly – to use the pitch side monitor sparingly. In fact, only 3 games in 380 saw our referees review on the monitor.

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This resulted in the VAR at Stockley Park actually making the big calls overriding the on field referee. Then we had the nonsense of offside lines been projected onto the screen.

The technology of camera speeds at 50 frames per second compared to the 500 frames per second used in goal line decisions means that it is slow and inaccurate and certainly does not support the claim that a toe is offside.

Our VAR operators still want to indulge themselves by ignoring the VAR criteria of only intervening on clear and obvious errors.

Keith Hackett
Former Premier League and FIFA referee Keith Hackett is a columnist for

So what needs to be done.

I believe that the PGMOL need to carry out a root and branch review. With a budget of £22 million are they delivering value for money? Sorry I think not.

Some referees need to be moved on.

In retiring Lee Mason in recent days and appointing him as a full-time VAR operator, is this the correct decision?

After all, he did recommend to a referee on two separate weekends that a player should be sent off but, on appeal, both players had their red cards rescinded.

So let’s hope that through the summer PGMOL learn some lessons and start to create a cadre of world class referees and get us back to the standards that were being achieved by PGMOL in the early years of my management.

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