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VAR explained

7 August 2019

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The 2019/20 Premier League season will be the first to feature Video Assistant Referees (VAR) after the clubs voted unanimously in November 2018 to introduce the system.

All 380 Premier League fixtures will have a VAR, who is constantly monitoring the match but will be used only for 'clear and obvious errors' or 'serious missed incidents' in four match-changing situations:

  • Goals
  • Penalty decisions
  • Direct red card incidents
  • Mistaken identity


The final decision will always be taken by the on-field referee.


VAR will not achieve 100 per cent accuracy but is designed to positively influence decision-making and lead to more correct, and fairer, judgments.

In the Premier League, there will be a high bar for VAR intervention on subjective decisions to maintain the pace and intensity of the matches.

Factual decisions, such as offside or if a foul was committed inside or outside the penalty area, will not be subject to the 'clear and obvious error' test.

Click here for further VAR reading.


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