VAR: Publishing in-game audio ‘small steps’ -News


Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system introduced in Premier League starting 2019-20 season

Referee chief Howard Webb said releasing audio of VAR decisions was “a small step forward” in bringing clarity to the incident.

Throughout the Premier League season, the application of VAR technology has been questioned and criticized by managers, players and pundits.

In an effort to promote transparency, Webb appeared on Sky Sports to discuss with experts Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville how key decisions were reached.

“We are looking to do [release audio] Do what we can,” Webb said on Monday Night Football.

“Tonight is obviously something new. We’ve taken a small step forward. Looking ahead to next season, we’ll be looking to do more of the same.

“We can’t broadcast it live, FIFA doesn’t allow us to broadcast it in matches – who knows what will happen in the future – but nothing prevents us from showing the information later.”

Game audio from six games this season was released by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), allowing supporters to hear the discussion before Webb offered further insight.

Newcastle 0-2 Arsenal – VAR overturns penalty decision (7 May)

Jakub Kiwior is penalized for handball after Bruno Guimaraes' shot
Jakub Kiwior is penalized for handball after Bruno Guimaraes’ shot

what happened?

Referee Chris Cavanagh awarded Newcastle a penalty for handball when Bruno Guimaraes’ shot hit Yakubkivir, but VAR Michael Salisbury overturned the decision, with replays showing the ball went first before making contact with his arm. Hit the defender’s thigh.

What was the reaction?

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock said: “It came off the thigh and went to the arm, it was definitely not a penalty. I don’t know why the Newcastle fans were so furious.”

What was discussed?

VAR Salisbury: “We will check the fine for youexternal link…are you sure it was the arm and not the thigh first? We need to make sure that’s not his thigh.

“It looked like it was the thigh on the arm. So for me the arm was in a natural position. The ball came off the thigh and moved to that arm. I don’t believe it wasn’t a penalty.

“I would recommend a live review of the penalties you award. What we show you is the impact of the ball and the position of the arm.”

On-field referee Kavanagh: “So we let the knee deflect first. Show me again. Arm close, my initial reaction was arm out, so I’m going to throw the ball to the keeper to start over”

Weber explains:

“There were two things about it. The ball was clearly hitting the thigh – the shorts moved – and the arm was moving backwards, making the player smaller. The arm was not where the referee thought it was.

“I really want to make sure our use of VAR is consistent. This one is a good use of VAR because it’s different from what the referee sees. The referee still has reason to review the decision”

Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool – VAR overturns Havertz goal (4 April)

Kai Havertz scores against Liverpool but goal ruled out
VAR review makes clear Kai Havertz goal should have been disallowed

what happened?

Kai Havertz was disallowed for handball after VAR Kavanagh informed referee Anthony Taylor that the ball had gone into the Chelsea striker’s arm.

What was the reaction?

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, ex-Arsenal defender Matt Upson said: “You can see in replays that he just lifts his elbow. It was a good save from Alisson, really because he Really kept it high and it fell off Havertz’s arm and bounced off the internet.”

What was discussed?

Referee Taylor: “The decision on the pitch was the goal because I think it hit Havertz in the chest.”external link

VAR Kavanagh: “That’s the truth. Just frame it on the arm. Yes, that’s obviously the arm. I’d advise you not to score. It’s handball and immediately leads to the ball in the net. It’s the truth.”

Weber explains:

“It was an opportunity for the VAR officer to see something that the referee on the field couldn’t. You heard Taylor say he thought it hit the chest, but we knew if it came off the arm it had to be banned.

“In this case, the referee doesn’t need to look at the screen because it is the truth. No other explanation is needed.

“Instead of wasting time sending referees to the screen, we can overturn the decision on the spot and be as efficient as possible.”

Brentford 2-0 Bournemouth – VAR fails to overturn penalty (Jan 14)

Ivan Toni knocked out by Marcos Senesi
Howard Webb explains VAR should have awarded Bournemouth free-kick but fails to analyze earlier foul

what happened? On-field referee Jared Gillette awarded a penalty to Brentford for a foul on Ivan Toney by Marcos Senesi, although Toney appeared to hold the defender’s arm before the foul occurred. The decision was backed by VAR Marriner.

What was the reaction? Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neill called the decision to award the penalty “disgraceful”, adding: “I don’t know how you understand VAR.” But, on BBC Radio 5 Live, former Wales defender James Collins It was an “obvious decision and very clumsy,” he said.

What was discussed?

Referee Gillette: “Second. Put your arms around him and pull him down.”

VAR Marriner: “Enough to back that up. Check complete.”

Weber explains:

“I don’t think there’s any indication that this was an obvious mistake, but obviously we’re looking at not only the final action but the stages that led to that decision.

“In this case, we saw Tony foul Senesi and then Senesi put his arm on Tony. The sequence didn’t start early enough. It was a matter of process rather than judgement. Tony locked and clamped him arm, which should have given Bournemouth a free kick.

“We know that lengthy inspections can lead to some frustration, but we hope that by playing these audios, you can see that there is a process.

“We cannot sacrifice accuracy for speed. In this case, VAR did not thoroughly analyze the full sequence leading up to the contact between Toney and Senesi. If it had, it would have shown Toney’s movements and resulted in the penalty being overturned.”

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