VAR: Uefa and home nation FAs to push for changes to offside calls next season


Raheem Sterling had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside against Chelsea last month

The use of video assistant referees for marginal offside decisions could be amended next season if a joint bid by Uefa and the home nations’ football associations succeeds.

The European governing body’s president Aleksander Ceferin told the Times there were issues with the “precision” of artificial lines drawn on the pitch to help make decisions.

Uefa will work with the four associations, which each has a vote on the board of lawmakers the International FA Board (Ifab).

Any changes to the laws would be made at Ifab’s annual general meeting in Belfast on 29 February.

There have been several controversial offside calls in the Premier League this season.

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino had a goal ruled out against Aston Villa on 2 November after his armpit was deemed to be offside.

The same reasoning was applied to Raheem Sterling’s effort for Manchester City against Chelsea on 23 November.

But some fans and pundits have said such tight calls are ruining the spirit of the game and handing an advantage to defenders.

Former England striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said after the Sterling decision: “I cannot stand what VAR is doing to the game… particularly with these nonsensically tight offside calls that they can’t possibly be sure of one way or the other. Bin it.”

Uefa cannot make changes to football laws but the Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Welsh Football Association and the Irish Football Association all have votes with Ifab.

At a meeting earlier this month, Ifab discussed the use of VAR and said there was “a growing demand for more immediate information about the referee’s final decision”.

Any changes to the law would also need to be agreed by Fifa representatives, who also sit on the Ifab board.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Fifa’s new head of global football development, now has an influence at world football’s governing body.

But speaking at the Ifab meeting on 3 December he said his chief concern about VAR was the resistance of Premier League referees to the use of pitch-side monitors.

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