Premier League

Premier League to use thicker lines for VAR offside decisions next season

By Sean Walsh
Marginal offside calls have been hugely unpopular among fans
Marginal offside calls have been hugely unpopular among fans / CATHERINE IVILL/Getty Images
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Premier League video assistant referees will use thicker lines in order to determine offside calls next season.

The use of VAR has come in for plenty of criticism since being introduced to the Premier League at the start of the 2019/20 season.

One of the teething issues has been with offside decisions, with attacking players often penalised for marginal offences.

But Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) chiefs are hoping to make calls a little fairer starting from next season with the introduction of thicker lines to judge whether an attacker is offside.

The Times originally reported of PGMOL's plans, and they were confirmed by Sky Sports News on Friday.

Premier League clubs gave feedback in a VAR survey last season, and it's believed that the marginal offside calls were as unpopular with teams as they were with fans.

Football's lawmakers, IFAB - the International Football Association Board - do not maximise the thickness of the lines in the laws of the game, and it is unknown whether thicker lines will also be used for offside calls in the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

The Dutch FA already use thicker lines of 5cm in order to determine their offside calls, and there had been calls earlier in the season for the Premier League to adopt a similar stance.

Jordan Henderson
Henderson had a last minute winner ruled out in the Merseyside Derby / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

It's believed that crucial disallowed goals such as Jordan Henderson's for Liverpool at Everton or Patrick Bamford's for Leeds at Crystal Palace would have stood with thicker lines.

FIFA, meanwhile, have been testing out automated offside technology. They trialled its usage at the Club World Cup in Qatar back in 2019, while Arsene Wenger, now FIFA's chief of global football development, reckons that fully automated technology could be ready in time for the World Cup at the end of 2022.

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