Thursday, December 7, 2023

VAR graphics to be trialled on Emirates big screens

Supporters at tonight’s Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg between Arsenal and Chelsea will be notified when a decision is being referred to the VAR via Emirates Stadium’s two big screens.

In a bid to clear up confusion about when the on-field referee is requesting assistance, the Mirror report that the EFL have supplied branded graphics that will be displayed live while the consultation takes place.

While the trial of VAR in English football has been welcomed by most in the game, a number of issues have arisen in recent weeks. Two weeks ago at Stamford Bridge, supporters watching the first-leg of tonight’s showdown were left in the dark when Martin Atkinson twice checked on possible penalty decisions.

The technology also came under scrutiny when the Blues faced Norwich in the FA Cup last week when the off-field official wasn’t shown angles seen by television viewers over a contentious penalty decision.

It’s hoped the graphics will ease some of the terrace perplexity. The FA have stopped short of showing a live feed of what the video team, based in Stockley Park near Heathrow, are watching. That will be reserved for viewers of Sky Sports’ coverage who’ll also have the benefit of hearing exactly why the red has made a decision.

Unlike some clubs, Arsenal do not use their big screens to show live action during a game. In fact, the club goes out of its way to avoid any controversial incidents being replayed to the point that contentious incidents in the build-up to goals are often cut.

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OK, helps to an extent to keep supporters informed of why the action has stopped.

In rugby, showing the VAR screen isn’t great, though they do. I guess things may develop to that in football though I wouldn’t be a fan of doing it.


The slowing down of the match is the issue, rugby is very boring due to this as the video ref watches all the phases of play up to the contested try and then the grounding of the try, can take a couple of minutes with all the players standing around. We need to learn from that.

Gonzo gunner

It adds to the tension in Rugby, but it also makes more sense due to all the nature of scoring in the game and needing a clear view of the ball contacting the ground.


When you add the two minutes it takes to sort out the video ref and also the 2 minutes to set and reset some scrums rugby gets v boring, not tense. I hope we don’t go that way with VAR.


Introducing VAR will take time. There were always going to be teething issues. Especially with the referees, and how it effects their decision making, and how they’re supposed to apply the technology during the game. As an example the two penalty incidents in the last game where the VAR was used, the correct decision was reached on both occasions. They weren’t penalties. The only issues was how the referee applied the technology during the game. I think it was the Hazard penalty shout where the Ref allowed play to continue for a fair amount of time when he should’ve just… Read more »

Bai Blagoi

“showing a live feed of what the video team, based in Stockley Park near Heathrow, are watching. That will be reserved for viewers of Sky Sports’ coverage who’ll also have the benefit of hearing exactly why the red has made a decision.”

That would be cool 😎


Show the damn replays on the big screen. Or what, we have to watch the sky replays on our smartphone inside the stadium? Referees need to be accountable for getting objectively verifiable incidents right 99% of the time, a la rugby, league, cricket, tennis etc.


I agree, there shouldn’t be any reason to hide why the decision was made. Not to mention everyone at home is going to see the replays anyway


‘Over here’ in American football?
Replays are shown ad nauseam in the stadium while calls are reviewed.
Little reason why action isn’t shown while decided– contentious or not– to the folks who are paying to attend matches.

Suppose not all stadiums are equipped to give every fan a view. Technology aside, the idea that questionable match events shouldn’t be displayed ‘live’ is either wrongheaded or naively over-cautious.



betraying my own ignorance but if we are worried about VAR slowing down the game why don’t we just give the managers a number of challenges like in tennis? I know its not black and white but surely this would add to the spectacle and not take away from it. Also, despite the grey areas of refereeing, having it on the big screen, I think, is a positive move.


I don’t see why they can’t just have a couple of people in a box away from the field completely reviewing contentious decisions and talking to the ref in real time.

No matter how the technology is utilized, the game will have weird stoppages. Each team could get 2 calls each (i don’t think too many contentious decisions happen against a single team per game), that way you would have to be careful how you use it.

Let’s not forget that not all refs are mike dean.

Bai Blagoi

Not bad idea, only that talking in ref’s year in real time about something that happened a minute ago would constantly distract him. They might alert him only when something strange has happened, but isn’t it how it is at the moment?


VAR is bollocks when compared to my proposed system, for which I would like to see a 20 year trial of… exclusively at The Emirates. This involves the democratisation or refereeing decisions. Every decision is posted to a big screen and fans within the stadium have a hand held device with coloured buttons from which they vote for the correct refereeing decision. Simple. And as it’s democracy in action, nothing can go wrong.

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