EPL told to get in line with VAR use

Football's lawmaking body has urged the English Premier League and other leagues to follow the same rules on the involvement of video assistant referee (VAR) technology.

It comes after concerns that the EPL and Bundesliga were applying different interpretations over the use of VAR from the ones handed out by the International Football Association Board (Ifab), Fifa's rule-making body.

"Each competition must respect the laws of the game and any of Ifab's published/communicated guidelines and/or clarifications," an Ifab spokesman told Reuters.

Yesterday, Ifab issued a circular on the recent changes in laws, including the use of VAR in penalties.

The EPL and Bundesliga have opted to leave the decision over whether a goalkeeper had moved off the line to onfield officials, with VAR only intervening if there is a clear mistake by the officials.

But Ifab has insisted that VAR "must check for any offence by the goalkeeper (and/or the kicker) and the VAR must inform the referee if there is clear replay evidence".


Neither the EPL nor the Bundesliga responded for a request to comment.

Before this season, the Professional Games Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the organisation which manages referees in the EPL, told clubs, managers and players that VAR would not get involved in rulings on goalkeepers' feet positions at penalties.

That stance came after criticism of VAR at the Women's World Cup, where several penalties were forced to be retaken after video review of the goalkeeper's movement.

The law itself was recently changed to allow goalkeepers to move at penalty kicks, so long as at least one foot is left in line on the goalline.

Ifab added in its circular that if a goalkeeper infringed the law, he should be automatically booked - apart from penalty shoot-out situations.

But it said that VAR should not be used for referees to check their own decisions, reiterating that the system should be used only when there has been a "clear and obvious" error. - REUTERS