EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Major VAR change incoming in Premier League after several complaints

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The Premier League is contemplating a replacement for Hawk-Eye as their VAR operator. That is due to an increasing volume of complaints from managers.

The system has faced intense criticism in recent weeks. Especially from Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta following his team’s loss to Newcastle. Additional errors surfaced in Wolves’ defeat to Sheffield United. Thus, prompting refereeing chief Howard Webb to meet with Gary O’Neil in response.

Despite Thursday’s ruling affirming the correctness of awarding Newcastle’s winning goal against the Gunners, plans for changes are in progress. The primary change is to focus on the operators of the cameras responsible for delivering VAR replays.

Why did Hawk-Eye fail as a VAR operator?

Reported by the Daily Mail, Hawk-Eye’s contract with the Premier League is to expire at the end of the following season. At that juncture, league authorities might consider transitioning away from the company that has managed the system since the inception of VAR.

Other technology and data firms are reportedly gearing up to bid for the new contract once the current one with Hawk-Eye expires. Hawk-Eye is known for operating the successful goal-line technology system. However, it faced scrutiny due to Sheffield United’s contentious ‘ghost goal’ at Aston Villa during Project Restart. Despite its overall effectiveness.

Their existing contract with the Premier League was at the commencement of the 2019/2020 season when VAR came into existence. Despite being recognized as global leaders in VAR systems for cricket and tennis, there’s an acknowledgment that their adaptation to football presents significant challenges.

Arteta will likely embrace the prospect of forthcoming changes given his recent outspoken criticism. He vented his frustration after Saturday’s match at St James’ Park. Prompting Arsenal to issue an intense club statement the following day.

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