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Premier League makes major VAR decision after Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd controversies

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The Premier League is set to continue its attempts to increase transparency around the VAR decision-making process after Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd controversy.

Liverpool fans will this week have the opportunity to listen in on discussions between Premier League referees and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system regarding how decisions are made.

This initiative follows a successful trial during Liverpool’s league match against Leicester City in May, where Howard Webb appeared on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football coverage to broadcast audio of officials communicating with those at the PGMOL’s Stockley Park base. To further enhance transparency, a programme called “Match Officials: Mic’d Up” will be aired on Sky Sports at 8pm UK time on Wednesday, featuring a similar format to the previous edition.

According to ESPN, former Liverpool striker Michael Owen will be among the participants. The specific incidents that will be reviewed during the programme have not been disclosed yet.

However, there have been numerous contentious decisions throughout the current campaign that could be assessed. One such incident involved the Reds when Alexis Mac Allister was wrongly shown a red card for a challenge on Bournemouth’s Ryan Christie last month.


Despite VAR lead Paul Tierney’s failure to overturn the decision, it was eventually successfully appealed. Another example occurred during the first Monday Night Football of the season, when Wolves were denied a late penalty despite Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana making significant contact with Sasa Kalajdzic in the box.

PGMOL’s Jon Moss later issued an apology to Wolves boss Gary O’Neil for the poor decision. The recent Premier League weekend also witnessed a perplexing moment as Nathan Aké’s goal for Manchester City was allowed to stand against Fulham, despite Manuel Akanji being in an offside position and interfering with play before the ball crossed the line.


The goal proved crucial as it put City back in front before they went on to win 5-1. There was also a controversial goal scored by Alejandro Garnacho for Manchester United against Arsenal on Sunday which became a topic of intense discussion.

Initially deemed a valid goal, it was later determined to be offside and subsequently disallowed. The match itself ended in Arsenal’s favour, with two late goals in stoppage time securing their victory. In the aftermath of the game, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag expressed his discontent with VAR, criticising the multitude of decisions that he believed were wrongly made.

The Premier League’s decision to provide access to the VAR decision-making process could be a significant step towards a feeling of greater transparency, accountability and understanding in football officiating.




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