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Masters: VAR's impact positive but it can improve

5 Feb 2020
Manchester City v Sheffield United - Premier League

Premier League Chief Executive says system introduced this season has improved decision-making on the pitch

The impact of Video Assistant Referees on the Premier League has been positive overall, says the competition’s Chief Executive, but more will be done to make it better next season. 

"[VAR]'s primary purpose is to improve decision-making on the pitch; it’s done that,” said Richard Masters, who was confirmed as Chief Executive in December. 

Masters cited the improvement of the accuracy of refereeing decisions in "key match incidents" rising to 94 per cent for officials and 97 per cent for their assistants under VAR. 

"We are seeing an impact on results and a positive impact on the league table, which is its primary purpose," he added. 

Masters acknowledged that, with VAR having its debut season in the Premier League, there was still naturally room for improvement. 

"In terms of implementation and being accepted by fans there is still work to do," he said. 

"In Spain and Germany they are still on a learning curve after more than two years of VAR"

Richard Masters

"It's always going to be a learning curve. I have spent time with my counterparts in Spain and Germany and they are still on a learning curve after more than two years of VAR. 

"We need to talk about delays and how long it's taking to make decisions. That [improvement] will come with time. 

"The referees have had an enormous amount on their plate. And they are doing an exceptional job."

'VAR will continue to develop'

Masters said the Premier League clubs will discuss VAR this week and in April to determine whether changes are needed for next season. 

"It will continue to develop as it has done in other sports who use technology as part of their competition," he said. "Football will be the same."

But Masters reiterated that the Premier League is not fully in control of the implementation of VAR, which falls under the remit of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which looks after the Laws of the Game.

Also in this series

Part 1: Masters: League is thriving as Liverpool race ahead
Part 2: Clubs making progress in tackling discrimination

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