England will welcome VAR to its shores in August as the Premier League kicks off and the drama restarts. But not all are pleased to see these new changes enforced given the chaos that we have seen unfold at the Women’s World Cup. Many are still confused as to what they will actually mean so we have tried to simplify things and explain which rules will be in place for the new Premier League season.
Goalkeepers will have to stay on their line for penalty kicks as they do now, but importantly, VAR will not intervene and order a retake if they stray off it. It will be left up to the officials on the field to deem if they think the goalkeeper has gained a significant advantage. This will avoid scenarios like we saw in the Women’s World Cup, where a retaken penalty dumped Scotland out.
Keepers are still allowed to move along the line but the penalty will not be taken if the posts are still moving, if the keeper has shaken them.
No goal will be given if the ball hits a player’s hand in the build-up, accidentally or not. A free-kick will be awarded for all accidental handballs but intent will still be considered when it comes to decisions in the box. This one is sure to cause a lot of controversy.
Cards for managers
Managers will now receive yellow and red cards, as we saw in the Football League last season. This is to prevent any dissent and to show the crowd what is being done about a manager’s behaviour. Simple.
This one is sensible. Subs will now leave the pitch at the nearest point rather than trudging over to the half-way line. This should speed up the game in an era where VAR looks to slow it down.
No attacking players allowed within one metre of the defensive wall. No more argy-bargy or shoving to look to make a space. On this note, they have completely scrapped the rarely seen drop ball officially, instead the ball returned to the team who last touched it when play was stopped.
I, for one, welcome our new VAR overlords… Those chappies in the truck will have the power to double check the referee’s decision and let him have another look as we saw in the World Cup last season. That will come into effect for four key areas, red cards, penalties, mistaken identity and goals but the big change is that the replay will be shown in the stadiums on the big screens.
That will be at 18 of the 20 stadia, remarkably Anfield and Old Trafford still down big screens! Drama galore in the Premier League next season.