talkSPORT host Sam Matterface reveals Premier League referees will not be so strict upon the introduction of VAR in England
Premier League referees are planning to use a less punishing interpretation of the rules to avoid the VAR chaos that has engulfed the Women’s World Cup, talkSPORT understands.
A record 24 penalties have been awarded at the tournament so far, 11 of which have been given with the assistance of VAR, raising concerns about the introduction of the system in English football next season.
FIFA directives mean a penalty will be given in almost all cases when the ball strikes an outstretched arm inside the box, as Japan cruelly learned against the Netherlands, however we have been told the Premier League will interpret the handball law differently.
A Premier League Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) source confirmed: “It is not in law that every time it hits your arm it is a penalty.
“The Premier League’s protocol will be more forgiving than the examples we’ve seen at the Women’s World Cup.”
A similar approach to handball is used in Serie A and La Liga, but the PGMOL considers this to be too punitive.
In another significant development, the Premier League will see officials call upon a 3D mapping system called ‘Crosshair’, which is able to map all parts of the body in marginal offside calls, making it even more accurate than before.
A PGMOL source, who himself said he had been contacted by friends concerned about the chaotic scenes at the Women’s World Cup, said: “I urged them and I urge you to give us a couple of weeks and see what you think after that. It will be different.”
The tournament in France has also seen goalkeepers punished on numerous occasions for stepping off their line before a penalty is taken.
Scotland fell victim to the rule against Argentina when a VAR-awarded spot-kick was saved by their goalkeeper, but she was judged to be off her line upon review, and the retaken penalty dumped them out of the competition.
But talkSPORT understands the Premier League do not plan to use VAR to check whether goalkeepers have stayed on their line.
This, however, might be subject to change after FIFA’s head of referees Pierluigi Collina was alerted to the fact at a press conference in France.
“The laws are the same all over the world,” he said.
“What is written in the laws of the game has to be enforced in every one of the countries that belong to FIFA, and in every one of the competitions arranged by the member associations of FIFA. The laws of the game are for everybody.”