VAR is 'here to stay': New Premier League chief defends the controversial tech

Published by : Sky News
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For any copyright, please send me a message.  The new Premier League chief executive has told Sky News that video assistant refereeing is "here to stay", despite growing discontent from fans, players and coaches.  A poll by YouGov released on Tuesday surveyed 1,396 adults who regularly watch Premier League football.  It found that 67% felt matches were now less enjoyable since the introduction of VAR, while only 13% said the introduction of VAR made it more enjoyable.  But Richard Masters, who was appointed to the role of Premier League chief executive in December, defended the technology on the basis that it improved the accuracy of decision-making. "It was brought in to improve the accuracy of decision-making, and that has happened," Mr Masters said. "We're seeing 94% of key match Incidents being accurate.  "That is a significant improvement. So it is having a positive impact. Obviously, in terms of its implementation, we have sought improvements in terms of consistency and speed of decisions.  "Obviously we haven't resolved every issue with regards to the communication of VAR in stadium, or through broadcast. But VAR is here and it's here to stay."  Last weekend continued a season of resistance to VAR, which was introduced to the Premier League after being rolled out across European leagues. Fans of certain clubs think they are suffering in the league table as a result of VAR and many have grown tired of the time it takes for decisions to be made, particularly where marginal offsides are concerned. Last month, Aston Villa's Jack Grealish thought he had scored but his goal was overruled by referee Michael Oliver after the heel of another player played him offside.  Mr Masters admitted that the way VAR is used to call marginal offside decisions is something the Premier League clubs will discuss when they next meet. "We'll definitely look at offsides," he said. Mr Masters, a father-of-four from Birmingham - now living in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire - had been the interim chief executive of the Premier League since the departure of Richard Scudamore in 2018. He was the Premier League's fourth choice after a chaotic recruitment process. Their first choice, TV executive Susannah Dinnage, resigned before starting after meeting with some of the Premier League clubs' chief executives, while a second candidate turned down the job.  David Pemsel, the former chief executive of the Guardian, also resigned after allegations about his private life in a tabloid newspaper. Mr Masters, who has been at the Premier League for 14 years, insisted the attention accompanying his elevated role wasn't a concern. Another subject prominent in Mr Masters' in-tray is the role the betting industry plays in football. The FA were
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