VAR is damaging the integrity and worldwide brand of the Premier League, says former ref Mark Halsey

MARK HALSEY reckons VAR is damaging the integrity and worldwide brand of the Premier League.

West Ham have called for the video ref system to be scrapped after one season following a series of controversial decisions this term.

Mark Halsey reckons VAR is damaging the Premier League’s integrity

Hammers chief David Moyes as well as Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho were left furious after goals were disallowed this week.

Ex-Prem top ref Halsey sympathises with both Premier League bosses and believes VAR has been “poorly implemented”.

Halsey said: “The Premier League is the best in the world but the integrity of it is now being brought into question because of VAR.

“It has been poorly implemented by the PGMOL and VAR is now damaging the integrity and brand of the Premier League around the world.

“Everyone is talking about VAR and asking, ‘What on earth is going on?’

“People are sick of the way we have used the technology and rather than talk about the great players, managers, matches and goals, we are always talking about VAR issues. It is undermining the league.

“I’m a big supporter of VAR, the pace of the game is much faster than ten years ago so the officials needed help but we haven’t got the implementation right.

“We need a total rethink to look after football.”

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Halsey, who officiated in the Premier League for 14 years, wants the PGMOL to follow the IFAB protocol with the first change to ensure the on-field referee views the monitor and makes the final call on subjective decisions.

He added: “VAR was supposed to eradicate clear and obvious errors. If we’re taking three or four minutes to decide then I don’t think those decisions fit that criteria.

“VAR was brought in to act like an assistant referee or a fourth official – it’s there to assist the on-field match official.

“Jose Mourinho was spot on – we can’t have someone re-refereeing the game at Stockley Park.

“We should follow the IFAB protocol which is being used throughout the rest of the world because I believe that’s our biggest problem.

“In the Champions League, the on-field official will view the monitor. We must do the same in the Prem and if we do so I don’t think we would have half the problems.

“I feel everyone would accept the decision if the on-field official views the monitor irrespective of what he decides.

“If I was still refereeing I would want to view the monitor myself, especially on subjective decisions. Otherwise what is the point of the referee?

“We have to look at the training and education and the buck stops with Mike Riley. Who is being held accountable for VAR?”

West Ham were fuming after having a goal ruled out by VAR against Chelsea
Mourinho was left furious after Moura was adjudged to have handled the ball midweek

VAR has not been the only refereeing problem since Project Restart last month.

Goal-line technology failed in Sheffield United’s visit to Aston Villa while the handball law has also sparked controversy.

Halsey said: “VAR hasn’t helped but the new handball law is an ass. The law was brought in to stop goals being scored such as Willy Boly for Wolves against Manchester City or Sergio Aguero against Arsenal when the final contact was off the arm into the net.

“It wasn’t brought in for Lucas Moura against Sheffield United or Declan Rice also at Bramall Lane. Even after those subjective handballs, the attacking team still had a lot to do to score a goal. So is VAR being too forensic?”


By: Dave Fraser
Title: VAR is damaging the integrity and worldwide brand of the Premier League, says former ref Mark Halsey
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Published Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2020 09:02:43 +0000

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