VAR 'ready to go' in Premier League

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Last Updated: 20/07/19 11:53am

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The interim chief executive of the Premier League Richard Masters explains how VAR will work this season

The interim chief executive of the Premier League Richard Masters explains how VAR will work this season

The Premier League is confident the use of video assistant referees (VAR) next season will bring clarity on key decisions and not affect the entertainment value of top-flight football in England.

After seeing the technology used extensively over the summer – including during the Nations League finals, the Women’s World Cup and the African Cup of Nations – VAR will make its Premier League debut this season.

VAR was introduced in last season's Champions League knockout stages

VAR was introduced in last season's Champions League knockout stages

VAR was introduced in last season’s Champions League knockout stages

Interim Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is hopeful that the lengthy delays which have often been a feature of VAR will be kept to a minimum when it is rolled out this term.

He told Sky Sports News: “We’re ready to go [with VAR] for next season and I think fans want to see those clear and obvious errors cleared up, but they also want to see the game moved on quickly.

There are no plans for widespread pitchside referee reviews next season

There are no plans for widespread pitchside referee reviews next season

There are no plans for widespread pitchside referee reviews next season

“And so in the Premier League, you’re probably going to see the referees not use the referee review area – which is that camera to the side of the pitch – as often as you might see in other competitions.

“You have to operate within the guidelines that the IFAB (International Football Association Board) gives you to operate VAR.

VAR was used in some matches during last season's FA Cup

VAR was used in some matches during last season's FA Cup

VAR was used in some matches during last season’s FA Cup

“But, hopefully – a) it will work and it will clear up those decisions and b) it won’t interrupt the fast-flowing pace of the Premier League. Those are basically our two objectives.”

A thrilling Premier League season last term was marred by a number of incidents of discrimination at grounds across the country.

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The No Room for Racism campaign was launched by the Premier League to help combat discriminatory behaviour across football

The No Room for Racism campaign was launched by the Premier League to help combat discriminatory behaviour across football

Part of the Premier League’s response was the launch of the No Room for Racism campaign, and Masters says further measures to tackle discrimination will be implemented before the season kicks off with Norwich’s visit to Liverpool, live on Sky Sports on August 9.

“Any single incident is an incident too many and when these things happen you have to take a step back and wonder if you are doing enough,” Masters said.

“We’re going to be doing more and we’re going to be announcing more over the course of the summer to try and ensure these things don’t happen again.

“Of course you can never make sure that they won’t, but I think it’s about a raft of issues – it’s about making our stadiums safer, making it easier for people to report [discrimination] and ensuring we have proper diversity throughout the whole game.”

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Highlights from the Premier League Asia Trophy match between Manchester City and West Ham.

Highlights from the Premier League Asia Trophy match between Manchester City and West Ham.

Masters was speaking in China where he has been attending this week’s Premier League Asia Trophy matches in Nanjing and Shanghai.

He feels the event, which has featured Manchester City, West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves, has been a success and is likely to return to the country in the near future.

He said: “Although we’ve only been to China twice in the nine [Asia Trophies] we’ve done, I think we may be coming here more regularly.”

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