Premier League referees told to use pitchside VAR monitors for red cards

Officials were reminded at a recent meeting that they should go to the ‘referee review area’ when the video assistant referee suggests upgrading a yellow card to a red or downgrading a red to a yellow

Jamie Gardner
Friday 17 January 2020 15:20 GMT
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Michael Oliver was praised for using a pitchside monitor earlier this month
Michael Oliver was praised for using a pitchside monitor earlier this month (Getty Images)

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Referees have been advised to use pitchside monitors to make a final ruling on red card decisions.

Officials were reminded at a recent meeting that they should go to the ‘referee review area’ when the video assistant referee suggests upgrading a yellow card to a red or downgrading a red to a yellow.

In most areas the guidance to Premier League referees is that the monitors should be used sparingly, and so far this season no official has gone to review a decision using one, instead relying on the VAR.

Referee Michael Oliver checked the monitor before issuing a red card to Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic during an FA Cup third-round tie against Derby on January 5.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson was asked after that game whether he would like to see more referees follow Oliver’s lead and said: “No, not particularly. If it is going to be the referee’s decision on that field that counts why do you bother with the VAR people sitting there in Stockley Park?

“Make up your mind. You either want the people in Stockley Park to referee it or the referee to referee it.”

Arsene Wenger, the new head of global football development for world governing body FIFA, said last month it was “a worry” that the monitors were not being used regularly in the Premier League.

“The referees on the field are there because they have the experience and they are confident,” the former Arsenal boss said.

“Let’s not forget that it is video assistance for the referee, so (the VARs) are not the ones who should make the decision but the ones who help the referee to make the right decision.”

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