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Premier League Head of Referees Mike Riley admits errors were made by VAR

Written by: Rutvij Joshi

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The 54-year-old also revealed that there were four incidents where the VAR did not intervene.

Mike Riley, the managing director of PGMOL Ltd (Professional Game Match Officials Limited), which is  the elite body of referees in England, has admitted that VAR (Video Assistant Referee) has made four errors in the ongoing season of the Premier League, at a meeting of the league’s clubs on Thursday.

The incidents which raised questions are Fabian Schar's equaliser for Newcastle against Watford, Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans' apparent stamp on Bournemouth's Callum Wilson, referee's decision not to award Manchester City a penalty when Jefferson Lerma stood on David Silva's foot in the Bournemouth box and a decision not to give West Ham a penalty when Sebastien Haller was brought down by Norwich's Tom Trybull.

Riley spoke to Sky Sports on the matter and said, "We are learning as we go along and we are constantly improving. Out of the four match rounds, there have been some really good examples where we have intervened.”

"There have been six incidents where VAR has advised the referee and we have got a better decision as a result,” he added.

There have been 227 incidents checked by VAR and six on-field decisions were changed, apart from that, there were 10 decisions which should have been overturned by VAR.

"There were four incidents where VAR didn't intervene and had they done, we would have a better understanding of the role VAR plays in the game. (The mistakes) are all about the judgment of VAR and the process that we adopt. These are examples where VAR could have had a benefit and intervened to help the referee on the day.” Riley quipped

When questioned about the reason for the mistakes Riley pointed out, “A combination of factors. That is the fascinating thing as this project evolves, we are constantly learning.”

He further went on to say, "We are trying not to disrupt the flow of the game, but on these occasions, the judgment should have been that it was a clear and obvious error.”

"One of the really positive things about the first four match rounds has been the quality of on-field performances. All the referees have incorporated the things we need to do with VAR into their refereeing, while still focusing on making real-time decisions," He concluded.



Published: Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:30 PM IST

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