Mike Riley is determined to not have his referees use a pitchside monitor when VAR is implemented in the Premier League next year. We at UFV exposed this to the public weeks ago. It took mainstream media as late as March 7th to report the following:
“Premier League video assistant referees will be instructed to make the final decisions on contentious moments themselves next season and convey them to the on-field referee, rather than the latter having to consult a pitchside screen.”–The Telegraph
The Telegraph also confirmed that the last time a pitchside monitor was used during these so-called trials was in the FA Cup in January 2018, 15 months ago, when referee Craig Pawson confirmed West Bromwich Albion’s Jake Livermore had fouled Mohamed Salah for a penalty at Anfield.
But recently there has been an even more alarming development in these trials. A referee decision was over-ruled by the video center without the referee having a chance to review because there was no pitchside monitor. During the recent Wolves vs Man Utd FA cup game, Martin Atkinson red carded a United full back and the VAR ref advised him to downgrade to yellow.
The referee was over-ruled by a nameless, faceless group and nobody seems concerned except for a few of us on Twitter.
Ignoring IFAB’s protocol
Mike Riley and the PGMOL act as if they are not bound by any established rules and procedures. They pretend as if if the international rule-making body, IFAB, has not published a “VAR Protocol”.
According to IFAB’s protocol the use of VARs in football matches is based on a number of principles, all of which must apply in every match using VARs. The following are the 12 principles.
- A video assistant referee (VAR) is a match official, with independent access to match footage, who may assist the referee only in the event of a ‘clear and obvious error’ or ‘serious missed incident’ in relation to:
- Goal/no goal. Penalty/no penalty. Direct red card(not second yellow card/caution). Mistaken identity (when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team).
- The referee must always make a decision, i.e. the referee is not permitted to give ‘no decision’ and then use the VAR to make the decision; a decision to allow play to continue after an alleged offence can be reviewed.
- The original decision given by the referee will not be changed unless the video review clearly shows that the decision was a ‘clear and obvious error’.
- Only the referee can initiate a ‘review’; the VAR (and other match officials) can only recommend a ‘review’ to the referee.
- The final decision is always taken by the referee, either based on information from the VAR or after the referee has undertaken an ‘on-field review’ (OFR).
- There is no time limit for the review process as accuracy is more important than speed.
- The players and team officials must not surround the referee or attempt to influence if a decision is reviewed, the review process or the final decision.
- The referee must remain ‘visible’ during the review process to ensure transparency.
- If play continues after an incident which is then reviewed, any disciplinary action taken/required during the post-incident period is not cancelled, even if the original decision is changed (except a caution/sendoff for stopping a promising attack or DOGSO).
- If play has stopped and been restarted, the referee may not undertake a ‘review’ except for a case of mistaken identity or for a potential sending-off offence relating to violent conduct, spitting, biting or extremely offensive, insulting and/or abusive gesture(s).
- The period of play before and after an incident that can be reviewed is determined by the Laws of the Game and VAR protocol.
- As the VAR will automatically ‘check’ every situation/decision, there is no need for coaches or players to request a ‘review’.
Based on the above principles, without a pitchside monitor, how could Atkinson concur that he had made a clear and obvious error? Yet nobody in the mainstream media has dared highlight this. Why?
Game of deception
Every passing day over the past two years, as we observe nearly two years of pointless trials by the PGMOL, I am more and more convinced that those in charge of English football are engaged in a grand game of deception when it comes to VAR.
There are remarkable similarities to what we currently observe with the British government and the politicians that are supposedly engaged in Brexit following a referendum nearly three years ago.
Despite last year’s November 15th vote by premier league clubs to implement VAR, we observe Mike Riley and the Premier League doing everything to prevent its full implementation. Just as British politicians do their best to ignore the results of a referendum, Mike Riley are clearly committed to maintaining the status quo and their control over refereeing.
In today’s strange Orwellian world if Brexit means Brexit then surely VAR means VAR!