VAR powers 'could increase' in decision that would impact Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham & rivals
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FIFA bosses are reportedly considering expanding the powers of VAR over football games. Should their proposed rule changes become active, VAR could be used to decide the outcome of contentious free-kicks, corners and yellow cards.
Currently, VAR is only used to help make decisions on penalties, red cards and goals. This, however, would see its use become much more common moving forwards.
The IFAB (International Football Association Board) will meet this week - the subject of VAR is expected to dominate the agenda. Following this, we will see if they plan to expand VAR's reach or not. While FIFA has control over VAR protocols, any changes they make to its usage must be cleared through IFAB first.
FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham said: "I know that is [VAR changes] something we will discuss in the IFAB. We would be really reluctant to have a game that was stopped a lot more than it currently is but that will be a proper discussion."
Should VAR's powers be increased?
VAR has been the subject of criticism ever since its inception - calls for it to be pulled have only grown louder and louder as time has progressed. It has failed to achieve its sole aim - eliminating errant decisions - and slows down the pace of games to a crawl whenever it is in use.
By giving it the power to tackle free-kicks, corners and yellow cards, these teeth-grinding pauses in gameplay will become increasingly common - and more frustrating. Back in 2020, a YouGov survey indicated that 51% of football fans in England said that they felt VAR had 'done badly'. Discontent towards the system has been ongoing for years, with signs of improvement being very much lesser-spotted.
While expanding VAR's influence would allow for the rules to be observed more faithfully (in theory), to pause the game so frequently in order to maintain integrity would likely do more harm than good to the overall enjoyment of Premier League football.