Football: Premier league to implement VAR from 2019-20 season

VAR will be introduced to the Premier League from the start of the 2019-20 season pending approval from FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Premier League clubs discussed the prospect at a shareholder's meeting and agreed "in principle" to follow the lead set in Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

VAR has been met with mixed reviews but a largely smooth implementation at the World Cup in Russia helped to resolve doubts over its effectiveness.

The technology is already present in the FA Cup and EFL Cup, and UEFA has confirmed it will be introduced to the Champions League next season.

The move requires ratification from FIFA and the law-making IFAB before being cleared to debut in the top flight of English football.

A Premier League statement read: "At a shareholders' meeting today, clubs were provided with an update on the non-live VAR trials being undertaken by the League and Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL) this season.

"Key learnings from VAR's use in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and other leagues across the world, were discussed in detail.

"The Premier League's non-live testing programme will remain in place for the rest of this season, with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently, and developing a clear protocol for communicating VAR decisions to fans.

"The League will now formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and FIFA to use VAR next season."

The decision comes less than a week after Southampton striker Charlie Austin made headlines with an impassioned plea for match officials to receive assistance following a goal wrongly disallowed for offside during his team's draw against Watford.

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