According to The Times, a new Video Assistance Referee (VAR) system that automates offside calls could be introduced into the Premier League by 2023. 

VAR technology, which was brought into the English top-flight two years ago, has received mixed reviews from players, managers and fans alike regarding its application to the game. 

Arguably the biggest problem has been to do with judging whether a player has been caught offside or not, with lines being drawn from various points on the attacker and the deepest defending player on the pitch – all while leaving everyone in the stadium in limbo as to what is going on. 

One of the issues with the lines was to do with their thickness, so the Premier League elected to thicken them for the current campaign to make decisions easier and less contentious. 

But, in another attempt to improve the accuracy and time taken to determine offside calls, The Times claim a new system could come in which is instantaneous and automatically flags infringing players. 

The report states that the system will be able to track as many as 29 individual points on a player using 12 cameras set up around the field of play, all just half a second behind the action being played out. 

It also states that Hawk-Eye, the technology’s manufacturer, has informed FIFA that the system is ‘ready to go’ for deployment as early as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

Should it prove to be a success at the tournament, referees in England could be briefed ahead of its proposed introduction, which could be at the start of the 2023/24 campaign. 

Spurs Web Opinion 

VAR has continued to divide opinion, especially since there were plenty of teething problems after its introduction two years ago. However, automated decisions do have the power to be useful as they will be instant, but only if applied well and properly. 

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