Premier League propose VAR change for TV coverage next season

Premier League bosses could stop drawing offside lines on-screen next season.

Sky and BT Sport have used the lines during their live games when VAR has been used to rule on marginal decisions which has led to the phrase “armpit offsides.”

The Premier League opted to show the lines being drawn by the VAR at Stockley Park to offer clarity and show armchair viewers why goals were being ruled offside.

Incredibly, 34 goals were ruled out for offside by VAR last season and often by the smallest of margins.

And the long winded process of the lines being drawn has annoyed fans and pundits when they see goals ruled out.

But the rest of Europe’s big leagues also uses the lines to ascertain fine margins to decide when a player is offside, although the leagues do not offer them to the broadcasters and therefore you do not get the same levels of anger when a goal is ruled out.

The Premier League have yet to make a final decision on whether to carry on showing the lines but, with the shift towards FIFA taking overall control of VAR, English football will fall into line with the world governing body’s guidelines.

FIFA do not show the decision making process and therefore the Premier League may stop providing the drawing of the offside lines from Stockley Park.

There had been hope among Premier League clubs that there would be a degree of flexibility on offside decisions with even the possibility of using thicker lines to give more tolerance on tight VAR calls.

But the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) now believes FIFA, led by Pierluigi Collina, the head of the referees committee, will apply very strict rules on offside with no flexibility.

However, referees are more likely to be able to go over and consult their pitch side monitors on controversial decisions having been dissuaded from doing so by PGMOL boss Mike Riley other than on red card decisions.

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