- Premier League clubs voted against semi-automatic offside technology in June
- A litany of VAR controversies has left the football world urging VAR changes
- DOMINIC KING: I don’t understand what football is anymore – It’s All Coming Up
Semi-automatic offside technology (SOAT) could reportedly be introduced next season as footballing lawmakers discuss an overhaul of how VAR works.
Premier League clubs voted against SOAT in June despite its success at the Qatar World Cup and the Europa Conference League final, but decisions this year have offered compelling reasons for a potential change of heart.
The technology uses artificial intelligence to track players’ limbs and notify the Video Assistant Referee almost instantly if they strayed offside.
According to The Telegraph, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) have started talks around what major changes can be made to the VAR system.
VAR was introduced in the Premier League in August 2019 with chief Neil Swarbrick saying it could take seven years to get used to the technology, but more than four years on, the football world is growing restless.
Semi-automatic offside technology could reportedly come in next season with a raft of VAR changes being considered
The technology uses AI to track players’ body parts and notify the Video Assistant Referee is one has strayed offside
VAR controversies have dogged the Premier League on a weekly basis but changes could take a long time to introduce
The League Managers Association is lobbying for major changes to the way VAR is operated
Your browser does not support iframes.
The League Managers Association this week demanded major changes to the way VAR is operated.
Those demands included an urgent review of what constitutes a ‘clear and obvious’ error as well as a video assistant being assigned to permanent five-person refereeing squads to improve communication on match days.
A communication error cost Liverpool a goal and a point in September when Luis Diaz’s strike was ruled out in their 2-1 loss to Spurs – after VAR official Darren England wrongly thought the goal had been awarded and told the referee to stick with the on-field decision.
Consultations have begun with UEFA and other confederations, with talks with the Premier League to follow.
However, the Telegraph notes that most proposed changes would not be introduced in time for next season.
A number of VAR controversies have erupted in recent weeks.
A communication error robbed Luis Diaz of a vital goal against Tottenham in September
Mikel Arteta was irate that Anthony Gordon’s goal against Arsenal was allowed to stand
Gary O’Neil has met with referee chief Howard Webb after a string of unfavourable calls
Jay Rodriguez was devastated when his goal against Bournemouth was ruled out after five minutes of scrutiny
Mikel Arteta blasted officials after Anthony Gordon’s goal was allowed to stand in Newcastle’s 1-0 win over the Gunners, asking ‘how the hell did this goal stand up?’ after three separate VAR checks.
Wolves boss Gary O’Neil held talks with referee chieftain Howard Webb and called for the ‘clear and obvious’ rule to be scrapped after being on the rough end of four controversial calls this season.
Meanwhile, Burnley fell victim to the longest-ever VAR check in Premier League history when Jay Rodriguez’s late equaliser was ruled offside, then onside, then offside again against Bournemouth in October.
It took officials five minutes to determine whether or not Rodriguez had strayed offside and fans have become frustrated at how long checks are taking.
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
Your browser does not support iframes.