Premier League fans cast vote on whether VAR should be axed

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Premier League fans have voted for VAR to be axed after several controversial decisions this season. 64% of those responding to the question “should the Premier League scrap VAR?” posed by Express Sport, voted in favour of getting rid of the unpopular technology, possibly influenced by what they have seen during the campaign so far. 

VAR has been riddled with controversy since it was first introduced in 2019. Many of the decisions made via the technology have failed to gain unanimous approval from players, pundits, supporters and former officials. While there have also been major criticisms over its effect on the general fan experience, with those watching often being left in two minds about whether to celebrate goals and not always being kept up to date during delays. 

Others have been unhappy with what they see as a micro-management of the game, with goals being ruled out for players being millimetres offside. 

The issues have continued into this season with some of the most notable incorrect decisions being in games involving Chelsea. First, Cristian Romero was fortunate to avoid being sent off for pulling Marc Cucurella’s hair in the dying minutes of the 2-2 draw with Tottenham, while the Blues themselves were lucky that Maxwell Cornet’s late goal was ruled out in the 2-1 win over West Ham. 

This weekend’s games were once again left with VAR-related talking points, with Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Southampton and Newcastle’s 2-1 victory over Spurs among the matches affected. 

Now, it appears that Express Sport readers have had enough of the technology and have voted in favour of the Premier League getting rid of video referees. 64% of respondents asked, “should the Premier League scrap VAR?” voted in favour with the remaining 36% happy to see it remain within the English game. 

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The Premier League argue that VAR has improved the standard of refereeing within England. It debuted during the 2019/20 campaign and was used to overturn 109 on-pitch decisions despite checking more than 2400 during the course of the season. More match decisions were made correctly, rising to 94% from 82% the year before. 

VAR is in use in most of the major football leagues around the world including La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga. It was introduced in Scotland for the first time this weekend with Celtic’s 4-3 win over Hearts at Tynecastle among the games riddled with controversy. 

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