Will VAR Be Scrapped From Premier League Football Next Season?

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Will VAR Be Scrapped From Premier League Football Next Season?
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VAR has dominated the headlines after almost every weekend since being introduced to the Premier League but the odds on the technology being scrapped altogether have been pushed out by bookmakers.

After each round of fixtures in its second season, fans are still being reduced to debating the inconsistencies in the use of VAR, rather than the wonderful players, the exciting games and the stunning goals.

The Premier League are expected to review the VAR system at the end of the season yet for all the controversy the chances of it being taken out of the English game appear to be decreasing, according to betting sites.

Ladbrokes have pushed the odds on the Premier League abandoning the use of VAR next season out to 16/1 this week, having once been as short as 3/1, so it looks unlikely we will be seeing the back of VAR anytime soon.

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Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn is of a similar mindset, but he insists if it's here to stay then steps must be taken in order for everyone involved to get a better understanding of the process.

"I don’t think it’s going anywhere, that’s for sure," Winterburn told Gambling.com.

"The referee’s association will argue with statistics that they are getting more and more decisions right, but there’s still lots of controversy. We have a situation whereby players and ex-players seems to be seeing a totally different game to the referees and their association.

"We could never have imagined we’d get so many decisions where a toenail is being deemed offside, and that’s my big issue with VAR. If they have to spend so long looking at an incident then can it really be considered a clear and obvious error?"


VAR was introduced to the Premier League in August 2019 to try and resolve controversial decisions, but it has arguably complicated matters further for managers, players and fans, causing widespread consternation.

Indeed, it has been accused of 'killing' football and turning fans off the beautiful game. With that in mind, the Premier League could yet act if there’s reason to believe it’s decreasing the quality of their product.

For many, the excitement and spirit of the game is in danger of being damaged by the continued use of VAR. Rulings on offside calls have come in for the most criticism, but Winterburn believes players and pundits need to be educated on how decisions are being made in order for opinions to change.

He said: "Perhaps the referee’s association could sit down in a room with players and look through a game and decisions that have been given to try and understand a player’s point of view or ex-player’s point of view compared to a referee’s point of view. I think we’d all like a better understanding of how they come to some of these decisions."

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"You only have to go on to social media after a game to find thousands of people wondering how or why a decision has been made. There’s probably more inconsistency now than there was before we brought it in, I thought this was supposed to get rid of the controversy? It seems to be fuelling the fire."

Technology when used in an efficient manner can enhance a sport like it does in rugby and tennis, who both use similar systems to reach debatable decisions, but right now VAR in football is threatening to spoil the top level of the world’s most popular sport.

The Premier League are understandably protective of their brand and it's following across the world, but the lack of progress and improvement since VAR was introduced has cast a cloud over the entire spectacle. However, at odds of 16/1 to be scrapped next term, few are holding their breath on VAR getting the boot.

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