Premier League told not to scrap VAR despite Arsenal fury in Newcastle loss

Mikel Arteta fumes at Newcastle’s winning goal against Arsenal

Despite VAR coming under fire once again this weekend, Express Sport readers do not believe that the Premier League should scrap the system. The technology came under scrutiny once again on Saturday, with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta left fuming in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle.

The Gunners lost their unbeaten record in the Premier League at St James’ Park over the weekend, with Anthony Gordon scoring the all-important goal in an impressive 1-0 win for the Magpies. However, the ex-Everton star’s goal has been overshadowed by controversy.

In the build-up to the goal, the ball appeared to have trickled out of play before Joe Willock retrieved possession out wide and whipped a deep cross to the back post. Joelinton was then on hand to knock the ball down into the path of Gordon, though there has been suspicions that the Brazilian fouled Gabriel when jostling to get on the end of the cross.

Gordon then smashed the ball past David Raya, with VAR opting not to rule that the England Under-21 international was offside due to the limited angles on the incident. Regardless, referee Stuart Atwell gave the goal and received the support of his officials at Stockley Park.

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Despite such controversy, the majority of Express Sport readers believe that the Premier League should persist with VAR. Asked ‘Should the Premier League scrap VAR?’, 43 per cent of respondents replied ‘yes’, with 57 per cent replying ‘no’ in the hope of the issues being ironed out over time.

Human error is naturally blamed for a reasonable amount of VAR blunders, leaving many puzzled as to why the Premier League have opted not to bring in semi-automated offside technology that uses AI to take the decision-making out of the hands of referees.

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Asked ‘Should the Premier League use semi-automated offside?’, 63 per cent of Express Sport readers replied ‘yes’ and were keen for the system to be implemented as soon as possible. The technology was used at the Qatar World Cup and received plenty of praise, with controversial decisions largely avoided on the biggest stage of all.

However, despite the evidence of the system being a success, 37 per cent of respondents were not keen on the idea of a semi-automated system and felt that offside calls should remain with the refereeing team and those in VAR.

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