Keith Hackett column: VAR checks for potential offside decisions were flawed

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Will we see wider lines used on the VAR system operating on the Premier League this coming season?

The way VAR operated when examining potential offside decisions was flawed.

Toe nails and watching them position the lines was too slow and spectators and stakeholders into the game did not “buy in”, looking in amazement when officials attempted to make the perfect call.

Camera speeds were too slow, slide selection a worry then trying to make the call. Let’s just follow what we witnessed in the Euros.

The next question is when will the four new referees promoted to Select Group One (Premier League Referees) get their opportunity to officiate their first game at the top level here in England.

Gillett and Salisbury et al will, I am sure, be introduced hopefully with care.

The big change must centre around the “Light Touch” and this will hopefully loosen the grip of the PGMOL Management and allow the personality of the referee to manage the game effectively without appearing to have one hand tied behind their back.

The referees have passed the fitness test which they take at the start of each season.

However, having watched both Taylor and Oliver at the Euros, passing the test is not enough. Our two top referees applied dynamic sprinting, their movement along with the other Euro refs was dynamic.

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We need the current group to be quicker off the mark with their movement. Pawson and Kavanagh would step up a gear if they applied more movement.

Attwell is a referee who is quick off the mark and he is growing in stature, and he, like Kavanagh, were VAR operators at the Euros and hopefully they will have witnessed at first hand how elite referees operate.

I hope that they will apply some of the things they have witnessed and they must set their individual bar higher.

I was rather surprised that several referees retained their Select Group 2 status (Championship Referees).

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

I do think that if after 2/3 years on this panel if they do not make the SG1 panel then they should be replaced.

Finally, I would like to see Assessors re-introduced to the Premier League and Championship.

Let those experienced eyes watch the performance of the referee from their seat in the stand. Those reports and post match reviews were so important in my own personal development.

I had some former top referees offering valuable advice. I was not interested in my mark, I wanted to read their reports and the nuggets of advice that they offered.

If my game had not gone well, they often were able to talk me through the incident and offer advice on perhaps a different approach.

I cannot wait for the new season to commence. Good luck to every match official.

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