FA's Martin Glenn believes English football will come to 'wonder how we ever lived without' VAR

The technology was used for the first time in a competitive English match during the FA Cup third-round meeting between Brighton and Crystal Palace on Monday night

Samuel Lovett
Tuesday 09 January 2018 20:05
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VAR was used to review Glenn Murray's late winner for Brighton on Monday
VAR was used to review Glenn Murray's late winner for Brighton on Monday

Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn believes English football will come to “wonder how we ever lived without” Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology after the system made its competitive debut this week.

The technology was used for the first time in an English game as Brighton edged past Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round on Monday night.

After initial suggestions of a handball, Glenn Murray’s late winning goal was reviewed and approved by Neil Swarbrick, sitting in a control room at the Premier League’s match centre in west London.

Glenn was pleased with the implementation of the technology, which will next be used in the Carabao Cup semi-final two-legged tie between Arsenal and Chelsea, and believes it didn’t disrupt the flow of Monday night’s game.

“We were a big supporter of VAR being embraced in football after years of it being challenged by [Sepp] Blatter and Fifa,” Glenn said on Tuesday.

“The FA generally thinks that in a few years’ time we will wonder how we ever lived without it.

“The key thing is: how do you balance off the improvement in decision-making, and keeping the game flowing.

“I was pleased. It seemed to work the right way.

Glenn Murray’s late winner was reviewed and approved by VAR on Monday night

“We will review it. The PGMOL, the joint venture between ourselves and the Premier League, will have a good look at what we’ve learned from it.

“The good news is the game didn’t stop once. There seemed to be good teamwork between [referee Andre] Marriner and Swarbrick.

“It’s the result of a lot of testing having been done already in a non-game situation, which has really refined this referee to technology interface.”

Organisers for the 2018 World Cup are considering using VAR at this summer’s tournament, with Fifa president Gianni Infantino notably keen to adopt the technology.

However, Glenn refused to say whether or not the World Cup should implement the system and warned against "over-zealous" VAR systems.

“Over-zealous VARs intervening too often seems to have the key issue,” he added. “That would interfere with the flow [of the game].

“It’s making sure that we look at the things that have gone wrong and that they are done more uniformly.

“The big question is: should we put it into the World Cup?”

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