The English Premier League (EPL) plans to send a survey to all 20 clubs in the elite cadre to get their reactions on how the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) needs to improve.
According to Sky Sports News, from next week, clubs are expected to get the survey and then suggest improvements around decisions made by the VAR for the 2020/21 season.
From the survey, clubs will be required to view subjective calls; including penalties, red cards and handbags and then give their feedback, whether they believe VAR should be asked to make a decision or not.
This is all part of efforts by the Premier League authorities to try and achieve consistency when it comes to making decisions on the field of play.
There have been quite a number of controversial decisions during games this season because of the use of VAR. The latest of these controversies was when it did not award Manchester City a penalty when Phil Foden was tripped by Alex McCarthy in their win over Southampton on Wednesday March 10, 2021.
The match referee, Jon Moss, didn’t deem it fit to overturn his decicioin after feeling Saints goalkeeper McCarthy got a slight touch on the ball.
Despite beating the Saints 5-2, City boss Pep Guardiola still expressed displeasure over the decision not to award the penalty in favour of his team.
“Jon [Moss] cannot see it, but the VAR is there, they don’t whistle the penalty, it’s incredible.
“For a long time, maybe four or five years, I have never complained about referees, but this action really is incredible. Incredible.
“The VAR exists purely to assist when the referee doesn’t see the action. They can make a mistake, that’s why they review. But if there is a review and they didn’t whistle the penalty for this action, then I don’t understand. Honestly.
“Maybe one day they will explain the rule for all of the managers and players.”
While the Premier League Board is adamant to make a decision on the use of VAR, it still won’t be able to make significant changes, because the responsibility to do that falls on the shoulders of the International Football Association Board.
Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness had this to say:
“VAR was designed to be a tool to help referees make fewer mistakes. Credit to Phil Foden for going down and bouncing up again automatically, honest boy.
“But he’ll be thinking to himself on another day if this game is really tight, if the game had ended a draw and he hadn’t gone down, he’d be getting stick from everyone.
“But that was a very obvious penalty, we could see it, we can see the same pictures as those at Stockley Park. It’s a classic case of the matchday referee not calling it, and the ones at Stockley Park support him by not calling it. They make themselves look really, really foolish.
“They want a clear and obvious error? That was. The referee got it wrong! It’s obvious to everyone there has been contact. If this happens anywhere else on the pitch, is that not a foul”?
Continuing, he said, “It’s scary. They just make it up as they go along. He doesn’t get any of the ball. These guys at Stockley Park must have been having a toilet break or someone making coffee. It’s nonsense. They make themselves look stupid!”