Corona Virus can delete VAR in the Premier League after the league is re-established

The Premier League will hold talks on whether to continue implementing VAR because there are doubts over survival after the Corona Virus suspension.

Match referee Craig Pawson watched the VAR screen before awarding Liverpool a FA Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool vs West Bromwich at Anfield, 27 January 2018. (Photo by Alex Livesey / Getty Images)

Top leaders are determined to continue using technology once league football begins again to protect the integrity of the competition.

In theory, for one match to be considered safe enough to play, VAR must still be permitted.

But concerns arise because of the inherent risk to VAR officials who are infected or who can spread the disease.

A VAR team of at least three people, including one referee, is assigned to each match in the Premier League.

They were locked up in a small room in the Premier League studio, in Stockley Park, which had raised concerns that were clearly given government guidelines about social distancing.

General display of the VAR space on the VAR system that will be used in all FIFA World Cup matches, 9 June 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)

The league chair with PGMOL will discuss this issue in the coming weeks to decide whether VAR can continue while the Coronavirus outbreak still remains.

There is one alternative VAR technology available at the stadium, if it is decided Stockley Park cannot be used as a hub. VAR can be done remotely with a van equipped with special technology and this is another option that is open to the Premier League.

There is also concern that VAR will not function if several matches are played simultaneously.

Former Premier League referee and Sportsmail columnist Mark Clattenburg said: “If social distance is still established when the football season has to continue, then there is no way the VAR bunker at Stockley Park can be used.

Referee Mark Clattenburg gives a signal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich vs Bournemouth at The Hawthorns, 25 February 2017. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty Images)

“Certainly not if there are several Premier League matches played at the same time. It all happened in one room without a window. Each team consists of VARs, Hawk-Eye assistants and operators, who work together at close range with the monitor collection in front of them.”

“Maybe if one game is played at a time, then they can spread, given each table, keep their distance and continue the work.”

“Another solution is you can put officials in a van outside the stadium and make sure they are also two meters away.”

“But in reality, I don’t see how football can start again until social distance is completely restored to normal by the Government. Too many risks involved. You can’t start the season again without VAR, because that will change the competition.”

“Imagine if Aston Villa were relegated because of an offside goal or a decision that VAR would have canceled if it had happened at the beginning of the competition? The impact would have been enormous.”


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