Premier League clubs put VAR revolution on hold over communication concerns
Top teams in England want the system to be improved before rolling it out in league games.
Video Assistant Referee technology will not be used in the Premier League next season, the governing body has announced.
The decision was made at a Premier League shareholders’ meeting in London on Friday, when all 20 member clubs voted.
The system, which is being trialled in this season’s FA Cup, will be further tested and used in cup competitions during the 2018/19 campaign.
A statement read: “Premier League clubs have today agreed to continue advanced testing of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) throughout season 2018/19.
“The decision came after comprehensive discussions regarding the progress made in VAR trials in English football, and key learnings from the many competitions using it elsewhere.
“The clubs recognised and are grateful for the substantial developments made by PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) managing director Mike Riley and his team.”
The major teething problem in VAR’s use during this season’s FA Cup, as well as in other competitions around Europe, has been a lack of communication in the decision-making process for fans in the stadium.
Supporters have at times been left bewildered while games have been stopped for long periods of time while decisions were being made.
The testing will focus on how that can be improved and the Premier League hopes to see VAR used in the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup next term.
The Premier League statement continued: “The clubs agreed that advanced testing will continue to the end of season 2018/19 to make further improvements to the system, especially around communication inside the stadium and for those following at home and around the world.
“The Premier League will also be asking for VAR to be used more extensively in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup in season 2018/19.”
Fourteen of the 20 clubs had to vote in favour of the introduction of VAR at Friday’s meeting, a figure which was not reached.
Press Association Sport understands some clubs believe VAR is currently being employed too widely and more subjective decisions, such as fouls, should be left to the match-day officials.
Issues of how best to make decisions are still being ironed out and questions remain about what constitutes a mistake.
VAR will be used at this summer’s World Cup in Russia after being rubber-stamped by the FIFA council last month, a move which FIFA president Gianni Infantino concedes may lead to controversy.