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Howard Webb defends Premier League refereeing standards

Written by on April 30, 2024

One of the main criticisms of VAR is the experience of supporters in stadiums, with fans often left in the dark while a decision is being made or reviewed.

During the 2023 women’s World Cup, referees explained their decisions to supporters over the tannoy once they had been to the pitchside monitor.

Webb says the Premier League is looking at ways to improve the experience for supporters in stadiums, including in-stadium announcements.

“We’re looking at it and keeping an open mind about whether that’s something we could utilise in the Premier League,” he said.

Semi-automated offsides will be used in the Premier League next season for the first time, with the technology expected to be introduced in the autumn after the season has started.

The technology, which uses optical player tracking, will provide quicker and more consistent placement of the virtual offside line for VAR officials.

While Webb says the current model of drawing lines for offside will be used for VAR in specific cases, he says semi-automated offsides will speed up decision-making in the majority of cases.

“It will make us quicker in a lot of situations involving tight offsides,” added Webb.

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