Premier League chief Mike Riley revealed that players will be given the benefit of doubt for offsides due to toenails and noses. VAR has come under fire for this kind of decision over the past two seasons. The Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) will introduce changes to VAR this season. The lines sed for marginal decisions will now be made thicker so as to help the attacking side. Riley revealed that the narrow offside decisions will be given in favor of the attacking sides which cold lead to 20 more goals scored throughout the season.
“Fundamentally, we want the approach to be one that allows players to go out and express themselves and let the game flow,” Premier League chief Mike Riley said. “It means the VAR teams will not intervene for trivial offenses and the threshold for referee and VAR intervention will be slightly higher than it was last season. We’ve introduced the benefit of the doubt for the attacking player so where we have a really close offside situation, we will follow the same process as last year but now apply thicker broadcast lines.”
“Effectively what we have done is given back 20 goals to the game that were deemed offside last season by using quite a forensic scrutiny,” he added. “So it’s the toenails, the noses of players that were offside – they won’t be offside now. It’s not sufficient to just say there was contact. Contact on its own is only one element the referee should look for. If you have clear contact, that has a consequence, it’s a foul but if you have any doubts, about these elements they are unlikely to be penalized. You also want it to be a proper foul and not the slightest contact that someone has used to go over to get a penalty.”