Football News

Callum Wilson: VAR will stop Premier League fun

By Harry Edwards

Published: 10:59, 11 June 2019

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson believes the introduction of video assistant referees will “stop” the fun in the Premier League next season.

After its selected use in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup over the past two seasons, as well as the 2018 World Cup and Champions League knock-out stages, VAR will be present in the Premier League for the first time.

VAR in Premier League: Five key things to know…

  1. VAR will be used in the Premier League for the first time next season.
  2. The technology has already been tested in English football with selected FA Cup and Carabao Cup matches.
  3. Despite the positives it brings, VAR continues to be scrutinised for its use and the way it changes games.
  4. Bournemouth striker Wilson believes VAR will stop the fun of the Premier League next season.
  5. The Premier League has also revealed some VAR replays will be broadcast in stadiums if they help explain an overturned decision.

VAR was also in use in the Uefa Nations League finals, with England having two goals disallowed in the mini tournament thanks to VAR – in games against both the Netherlands and Switzerland.

With the third-place play-off against Switzerland nearing its end, Wilson thought he had scored the winning goal for the Three Lions but his effort was disallowed for a shirt-pull on Manuel Akanji after the referee consulted VAR.

And Wilson admitted he is not looking forward to VAR’s use in the Premier League next season.

“Obviously I’m disappointed not to score the winner. It’s going to be like that next season [in the Premier League] I think,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s going to stop a lot of the fun in the game. You score and you celebrate but then you are waiting for it to be allowed – and when it’s not it feels like an anti-climax.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

“It’s frustrating on a personal note, of course. I don’t there was much in it, he’s a big centre-half and I only moved him to the side a little bit to get half a yard on him and he’s just dropped to the floor.

“If centre-backs are going to keep dropping to the floor next season there will be a lot of disallowed goals that shouldn’t be.

“It’s a contact sport and I think strikers should definitely get the benefit of the doubt.”

Wilson’s disallowed goal would not prove costly for England in the end, with the Three Lions securing their bronze medal with a 6-5 win on penalties.

Some VAR replays to be shown on screen in Premier League

Aside from potentially ruining the fun, VAR has come under criticism for the lack of clarity on the decisions made available to fans in the stadium.

Although fans watching on television have been able to see at least some of the process VAR takes for decisions, no replays have been shown live at the matches themselves.

But the Premier League have now confirmed, in some cases, match-going fans will be able to see or hear VAR decisions next season.

A statement released by the Premier League read: “Premier League clubs were today provided with an update on plans for the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in the competition next season.

“This included details on in-stadium communications, in particular when there is a clear delay to a match because of VAR, and when refereeing decisions are over-turned due to the intervention of VAR.

“The Premier League has created graphics which will be displayed on giant screens to explain any VAR-related delay to a match, and any overturned decision.

“Additionally, if the VAR believes there is a definitive video clip which helps explain an overturned decision, it will be broadcast on giant screens.

“Also, the Premier League is investigating the possibility of messages and video clips being viewed on handheld devices via an app.

“For clubs who do not have giant screens in their stadium, VAR communications will be made via a combination of PA announcements and messages on scoreboards.”