WSL

WSL & EFL in early discussions to introduce VAR ahead of 2023/24 season

Ali Rampling
The WSL and EFL are in early discussions about bringing in VAR
The WSL and EFL are in early discussions about bringing in VAR / Clive Rose/GettyImages
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The FA are in the early stages of discussions to introduce a stripped back version of VAR into the WSL and EFL.

The level of officiating in the women's top flight has frequently come under scrutiny, with the standard of refereeing not growing in conjunction with the increased exposure and professionalism of the women's game.

There have been a number of decisions in the WSL this season that have resulted in calls for VAR to be introduced - Rosella Ayana's blatant handball in the build-up to Tottenham's winner against Manchester City in September one of the most glaring.

According to The Times, the WSL and EFL are aiming to bring in VAR-light - a budget alternative to the system currently in place in the Premier League. This could be introduced from the start of the 2023/24 season.

Like the current VAR model, VAR-light will aim to protect referees from obvious errors, but would have fewer cameras and would not have the offside technology. Said technology has resulted in many a controversial, marginal offside call.

Kelly Simmons, the FA's director of the women's professional game, told The Times: “Definitely, we are really keen to do it in the WSL. We have had early discussions with the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Ltd) about looking at VAR-light and we are working on what that would look like and what would the costs be for us to deliver that.

"It is really critical that it comes in as soon as we can do it and can afford it. We have a fantastic group of referees, but without technological support you cannot see every single decision and you want those game-changing decisions to be as close to 100 per cent as possible.”

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