Premier League confirm major change to VAR and offside calls for next season

Armpit offsides are set to be a thing of the past

VAR was a huge topic of debate throughout the 2020/21 Premier League season.

The technology’s regular interventions were viewed by pretty much every single football fan as nothing but a nuisance, especially when it came to offside calls.

On far too many occasions, the dreaded lines were drawn and after around five minutes of deliberation, a goal was disallowed by those at Stockley Park because a player’s armpit or toenail was in an offside position.

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That’s just simply not football, is it? The outrage from fans and players alike on the matter throughout the campaign was more than enough evidence that significant changes to the application of VAR are required.

When it comes to offside calls that are so close that players look level to the naked eye, the benefit of the doubt needs to go to the attacking player.

Thankfully, there are going to be significant changes to how VAR is implemented in the Premier League next season.

An offside call from last season

The Times report that thicker lines will now be used in the hope that they will eliminate the hugely unpopular marginal offside calls that plagued both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.

Martyn Ziegler, who broke the story, tweeted from his official account: “Big news from PL annual meeting – there will be ‘thicker’ offside VAR lines next season to end the hugely unpopular marginal offsides.

“The idea is to have a greater margin of error for offsides, giving the benefit of the doubt back to the attacker.”

So moving forward, if a player’s armpit or toenail is in an offside position, it won’t be penalised like it was under the old VAR regime, which can only be a good thing for integrity of the English top-flight.

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The system that will be in place starting from the 2021/22 Premier League campaign is already being used by both UEFA and the Dutch League.

It’s introduction also means that those watching a television broadcast will no longer see the drawing of the lines by VAR officials, only the final result.

That’s certainly a good thing as well…

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