VAR Change As Referees Told To Use Pitchside Screen For Red Cards
Premier League referees have been told to use the pitchside screen when VAR wants to overturn a red card decision, after Michael Oliver did just that in the FA Cup.
All season VAR has been criticised for how it's been used, leading many to wonder whether it should be kept in, and one of the biggest issues has been referees refusing to look at the pitchside screen.
That is due to change this weekend according to The Times. The newspaper reports that at a meeting this weekend the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, who manage elite referees, told the officials to use the 'referee review area' whenever VAR wants to change a red card decision.
There's been no examples in the Premier League of a referee using the monitors to upgrade or downgrade a card this season but one top tier referee has put it into practice already.
During Crystal Palace's FA Cup third round match against Derby County, Oliver checked the screen when VAR wanted to upgrade Luka Milivojevic's yellow card.
Oliver consulted the screen after the Palace players clash with Tom Huddlestone and agreed that the booking wasn't enough and changed it to a red card.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's yellow was upgraded to a red card during Arsenal's game with Palace in the league last week.
Explaining the move from PGMOL to speak to refs about looking at the screen a source told the paper, "What the referees have been told was a reminder on the areas where they should use a pitchside monitor, primarily for red card incidents.
"If an incident similar to the Aubameyang one were to happen this week the referee would be expected to use the pitchside monitor to assist with that decision.
"It will be only when the VAR recommends upgrading or downgrading it, because there is an element of subjectivity and it would be better if the referee should have the final say in a potentially match-changing incident."
PGMOL don't want their referees to use the screens too often as it could lead to longer delays in play, which has been another of the major criticisms of the VAR system.
Will the new directive lead to better use of VAR?