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Premier League to use ‘thicker lines’ to improve marginal VAR offside calls

Premier League officials are set to use ‘thicker lines’ from next season in a bid to improve VAR decisions regarding offsides.

The usage of VAR has caused plenty of controversy since its introduction into English football, with offside decisions representing arguably the most contentious and consistent gripe amongst both players and supporters.

 

Fractional margins have been used since the technology was first introduced, causing huge frustration with goals disallowed following long delays in which millimetres are often considered.

In a move to hand the advantage back to attacking players during offside situations, Sky Sports are reporting that thicker lines will be used next season, following a presentation by Mike Riley – the Professional Game Match Officials Limited [PGMOL] referees’ chief – to clubs at their annual general meeting on Thursday.

The decision comes following feedback from Premier League clubs on the usage of VAR and the changes will hope to avoid frustrations over fractional offside decisions.

Under the laws of the game, the International Football Association Board [IFAB] do not specify a maximum thickness of lines, and the changes could follow the example of the Eredivisie which have left a margin for error in offside decisions.

The Dutch top flight has used 5cm wide lines on screen when assessing offsides, whilst decisions are not given if the two lines are touching, effectively handing a 10cm margin of error in the assistant’s decision.

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