With the brand new football season rapidly approaching, good news for lovers of the beautiful game. VAR is changing. Now don’t get to excited, but as from next season a change in the controversial VAR may improve football as we know it.
Premier League referees have been ordered not to award the kind of soft penalties they were awarding last campaign. After a record 125 spot kicks were awarded in the Premiership last season, on field officials have been told to raise the threshold. This will be for giving fouls, including in the box.
This could well mean the end of soft penalties
This should mean the end of no more soft penalties awarded, much like the type that England were given in the recent Euros. Following feedback from clubs, players, managers and others as to how referring could be improved in the Premiership.
The welcome news should now mean players are no longer penalised for making minimal contact with an opponent. Let us hope this will be put into practice and will work successfully.
When deciding whether to award free kicks or penalties, referees will be ordered to consider the degree of contact. Those honest players who stay on their feet when fouled will not be disadvantaged for doing so. Another sensible idea that should have been put into practice last season.
The end of toenail offsides is a welcome relief
This season should also spell the end of the so called toenail offsides after the Premier League agreed to join thicker lines. So next season we should see more players onside than offside.
Now comes the best news off all. Assistant referees will be ordered to stop keeping their flags down for obvious offside decisions. Officials will also be told to continue raising their flag for marginal decisions to avoid goals being wrongly ruled out.
The introduction of VAR to the Premier League has certainly been controversial. To say the least. However, with a few minor changes to look forward to for the season ahead, someday the whole VAR system may eventually work.
Having said that I am not going to hold my breath. On a personal note even with these new introduction for the season ahead I still would remove VAR completely.