ENGLAND – Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has said that he wants the Premier League to end its resistance to the use of pitchside VAR monitors.
Premier League referees’ chief Mike Riley had cautioned against their use by on-field officials because of the additional time delay it would cause.
That goes against UEFA guidance and Wenger, who is now FIFA’s newly-appointed head of global football development, wants the league to change its stance.
“The referee needs a monitor to check if he was right or wrong,” said Wenger.
Pitchside monitors have not been used in 140 Premier League games so far this season and the 70-year-old Frenchman feels that is a problem.
“For me, that is the most important worry,” said Wenger, speaking in Belfast after a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body responsible for determining the laws of the game.
“The referees on the field are there because they have the experience and they are confident.”
Wenger does not want to make the use of the monitors mandatory, merely to allow the referees the option.
He also would like to see VAR decisions explained to supporters via big screens, although he acknowledged the lack of such screens at two of the league’s most famous grounds – Liverpool’s Anfield and Manchester United’s Old Trafford – was a “problem which has to be resolved.”
Discussing the introduction of VAR in the Premier League more generally, Wenger said: “I honestly believe it is working much better than people think because I have witnessed many bad decisions before.
“Let’s not forget it is in its first year, so of course everything is not perfect. The adjustments will come. You have to educate people in the VAR to get them to intervene at the right moment.
“Let’s not forget that it is video assistance for the referee, so they [VAR] are not the ones who should make the decision but the ones who help the referee to make the right decision.”