The Premier League have rejected the introduction of VAR next season, instead opting for further testing in the cup competitions.
The BBC report that the Premier League clubs voted against the system. Their article referenced problems with the testing so far, saying:
“In Manchester United’s victory at Huddersfield in the last 16 of the FA Cup, for example, on-screen lines used to adjudicate on an offside decision were curved and distorted.”
This is actually not true, as the BBC themselves reported. Hawk-Eye stated that the ‘squiggly line’ shown on TV wasn’t actually used by the VAR assistant. Nonetheless, the false story prevails, and it’s apparently now part of the reason the clubs don’t want VAR.
I’d hope Arsenal are one of the clubs pushing for technology, given Arsene Wenger’s stance on it. Just in case they aren’t though, here are some of the most obvious examples from this season for why they should be:
1No penalty vs Stoke City (A)
04. Penalty Not Given vs. Stoke (Ref Andre Marriner). Clear late challenge by Diouf, bringing down Bellerin. pic.twitter.com/pzuOCNptNN
— UZ (@mrarsenal93) August 20, 2017
Bellerin was caught by Diouf without the Stoke man making any contact with the ball. The score was 0-0 at the time. The referee couldn’t see from his angle whether there was any contact, but looking at a replay would’ve cleared it up very quickly. The match ended 1-0 to Stoke.
No foul vs Everton (A)
16. Foul Goal allowed (vs. Everton) (Ref Craig Pawson) Gueye fouls Xhaka and makes no contact with the ball, which was not given, resulting in a goal that shouldn’t have counted. pic.twitter.com/vWEMUweDdC
— UZ (@mrarsenal93) November 10, 2017
At first glance, Idrissa Gueye seems to win the ball, and the referee doesn’t pull it back for a foul. However, on closer inspection, he didn’t actually get a touch.
That was confirmed officially by the Premier League, when they decided not to award an assist to Gueye. Knowing there was no touch, it’s a clear foul. Luckily, Arsenal won anyway on this occasion.