Premier League make big VAR call that will impact Burnley and their rivals

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Burnley’s return to the Premier League means a return to the delights of VAR.
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It had been mooted that automated offsides could be introduced next season, but according to the latest reports this will not be the case.

Instead, officials will have four extra cameras in stadiums to help snuff out high-profile errors that continue to attract criticism.

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After the system proved successful at the winter World Cup in Qatar, there was speculation that automated offsides, featuring chips in the ball and designed to minimise the time for decisions to be made, would be introduced into the Premier League from the 2023/24 season.

According to The Times that will not be the case, although VAR will have four extra cameras in stadiums - including Turf Moor - to help their decision-making when the new campaign gets underway in August.

Clubs have decided not to introduce automated offside, which has also been used in the Champions League, meaning we may have to wait until the 2024/25 campaign until it is introduced in England.

UEFA and FIFA are fans of the technology but the Premier League will continue to test it before it is approved for use.

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A return to the Premier League means a return to VAR for BurnleyA return to the Premier League means a return to VAR for Burnley
A return to the Premier League means a return to VAR for Burnley

The decision to provide extra cameras for VAR comes after two high-profile incidents in which players were not covered by available angles.

Officials hope that the extra angles will avoid the criticism that followed certain games last season that were plagued by incorrect decisions.

But with automated offside not approved for use, VAR will still have to manually draw the crosshairs for close calls - which isn’t a foolproof system, either.

In February, VAR John Brooks was dropped for two games after wrongly disallowing a goal for Brighton against Crystal Palace after drawing the lines in the wrong place.

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On the same weekend, an illegitimate equaliser for Brentford against Arsenal was allowed after the VAR, Lee Mason, forgot to check offside in the build-up to the goal.

Howard Webb, chief of the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) and the man in charge of VAR in this country, was forced to apologise.

Such incidents undermine confidence in the VAR system and offer ammunition to the technology’s critics.