Howard Webb believes VAR won’t work perfectly in Premier League


Howard Webb

Former Premier League referee, Howard Webb believes VAR won’t work perfectly in Premier League when it is introduced next season.

“I think the biggest thing they need to inform people of, is that it’s not going to achieve 100% perfection because that doesn’t exist.

“I don’t know what that really is.

“Our sport is not black and white, it’s not played in a series of set pieces.

“Football is played with tempo and some situations create subjectivity and interpretation. It always will do with the way the laws are written in our sport and the way it’s officiated.”

The 47-year-old is currently General Manager of the Professional Referee Organisation in the MLS, with the league using VAR since 2017.

They also became the first division to implement the video assistant in every league game.

Webb believes that the Premier League need make fans aware of VAR’s limitations before it’s introduction to the league next season.

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“I think they have to manage expectations. It’s going to enhance the game over there, for sure. It’s going to reduce errors,

“The officials over there are good at what they do but they make errors, just like all officials do because the game’s so fast.

“If you’re not careful, you’ll end up moving an opinion from the field to an opinion in a booth somewhere else – it’s still just someone’s opinion.

“You need technology to help you cut out those clear errors.

“The other thing is, people need to understand that too much involvement is not a good thing.

“The game is flourishing, it’s huge, and it’s a massive industry. It has been for years without VAR.”

The English Premier League clubs initially voted against VAR’s introduction this season at a meeting in April.

However, following a successfully use during the World Cup in Russia, teams agreed for VAR to come in from next season, with non-live trials used in the league last season to develop “a clear protocol for communicating VAR decisions to fans”.

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A number of domestic leagues, including the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A, already utilise VAR, along with the Champions League from last season.

And Webb viewed, to be successful, VAR should only be used when it’s needed, and not be used to re-referee the game.

“VAR is a tool that is going to enhance the game. It’s here to step in when it’s really needed for the big, clear errors,”

“I think that’s the way the Premier League will implement it.

“I hope it is because I think that’s the best way for it to be a success, when it sits in the background and either steps in when those errors are pretty obvious, or when the referee just simply can’t see the decision from where they are, he added.


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