VAR adjustment to help attackers

VAR officials will use ‘thicker lines’ to rebalance Premier League VAR calls in favour of attackers from next term.

The decision to change the way Stockley Park operates offside calls was agreed by the 20 Prem clubs at their AGM in Harrogate, SunSport reported on Friday.

Clubs chiefs heard a presentation from refs’ boss Mike Riley following the survey of clubs, players, managers and fans.

And while a working party will be set up to draft guideline principles for what should be determined as penalty offences, Riley and his officials will implement the new system on offside calls.

It means that the ‘defensive line’ will be drawn thicker than the one pixel width of the attacking line, intended to cover around 10cm of real space.

Riley and Prem chiefs believe this will give more margin of error for attackers, who will effectively be allowed to be marginally in front – by up to 10cm – of the last defender and still be deemed onside.

FIFA and law-makers IFAB are understood to have given their approval after world chief Gianni Infantino admitted some correct calls were now too tight and not necessarily in the spirit of the game.

The decision is likely to be a two-season sticking plaster aimed at making VAR more acceptable to fans and is expected to speed up decisions.