Ex-Fifa official: Premier League on course for VAR change in boost to Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool
Keith Hackett has claimed the Premier League will introduce semi-automated VAR offside technology – and it could be a major boost for Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee delivered his verdict after it was reported the new technology is on course to be used at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
ESPN reported on Monday (June 13) that the Premier League hopes to introduce the technology for the 2023-24 season.
Van Dijk is a vocal critic of the current interpretation of the offside law, in particular the practice of the delayed flag.
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo earlier this year (4 April), the 30-year-old called for it to be scrapped as it made the defence look “vulnerable”.
“Generally we have a reputation of accepting new technology,” Hackett told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.
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“All be it, with VAR it has taken three years and we’ve still not got there.
“With the technology that’s available, I think this was inevitable. We’ll see how it operates in the World Cup.
“What this may lead to is quicker decisions. In the Premier League, because of the speed and intensity it will be helpful.
“We need to get to a position with offsides like we are with goalline technology. An acceptance that this is how technology should help, take the human being out of it. I think we’re moving in the right direction.
“There are some aspects of the law we will see difficulties with interpretation. Interfering with an opponent is a subjective law. I can get a room of referees and have arguments and counter-arguments. There’s too many subjectivity about it.
Asked about whether the change could see the practice of the delayed flag scrapped, Hackett said: “Yes, I think it probably makes the assistant referee a bit redundant in that area.
“I’m looking forward to seeing int operate.”