The English Premier League has recorded 48 VAR interventions in the 2022/23 football season before the World Cup break. A total of 146 matches was played before the break.
There have been concerns over the increased automation of football games, with VAR at the center of the controversies.
Before the 2022 World Cup break, 48 VAR decisions were recorded. 42 of the 48 decisions were deemed as right, while six decisions were incorrect.
Leading the list of the six incorrect decisions by VAR was Gabriel Martinelli’s disallowed goal in Manchester United Vs Arsenal matchday three crash in September 2022.
Manchester United won the game with a brace from Marcus Rashford and a goal from Christian Eriksen, but Martinelli’s opener was disallowed.
Center referee Paul Tierney used the pitchside monitor to disallow the Brazil forward’s goal for a foul on Christian Eriksen by Martin Odegaard in the build-up to the goal.
Another controversial decision by VAR was a replay of the build-up to Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on matchday two.
The stoppage-time equaliser against Chelsea was controversial. Christian Romero was seen dragging Marc Cucurella’s hair before the goal. The decision not to rule out the goal and award Chelsea a foul was deemed disgraceful after a VAR review.
West Ham was also dealt a big blow after settling for a controversial defeat to ten-man Chelsea.
During Chelsea and West Ham game on September 3, referee Jarred Gillett deemed West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen fouled Edouard Mendy in the build-up and disallowed Maxwell Cornet’s late equaliser at Stamford Bridge.
Crystal Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell’s own goal was ruled out by the referee Michael Salisbury, who believed that Newcastle midfielder Joe Willock fouled on goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, while the Magpies stated that the goalkeeper pushed their midfielder.
Antonio Conte was left fuming after a controversial VAR decision in the game against West Ham.
West Ham looked like they had conceded a penalty for a third consecutive home league match when Spurs were awarded a spot-kick in the 11th minute, only for referee Peter Bankes to overturn his original decision after a lengthy four-minute VAR delay.
The official eventually used the pitchside monitor on the advice of VAR Stuart Attwell and reversed his decision.
Meanwhile, renowned English referee Howard Webb is reportedly ready to take over as chief refereeing officer at the PGMOL – a body responsible for match officials in English football – and is set to meet key personnel at Premier League and English Football League clubs in the new year.
Webb officiated in the World Cup final in 2010 and is set to bring a greater level of transparency to the PGMOL. He has been lauded for how VAR has been deployed in MLS.