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Survey: Majority of football fans still say VAR has “done badly”

September 11, 2020

According to a new YouGov survey, the majority of Premier League fans still dislike VAR – but the percentage who think it has “done badly” has fallen.

The percentage of those who think Video Assistant Referees have worked well in the Premier League has gone up from 27 per cent to 36 per cent. There has also been a subsequent fall in those who think it’s done badly, 60 per cent down to 51 per cent.

But fans still say the use of video referrals for key decisions in matches is making the game  lessenjoyable – those who say it’s more enjoyable has only risen three per cent – from 13 per cent to 16 per cent.

A total of 63 per cent say VAR makes the game less enjoyable, only slightly down from 67 per cent from a similar poll in January.

The number of people wanting to keep VAR but change it has fallen three per cent to 71 per cent, while 16 per cent of those surveyed think it should be scrapped completely, a rise of one per cent on January’s numbers.

Responding to the survey, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters commented: “It was the first season (for VAR) in the Premier League and it was always going to have bumps in the road. It’s certainly improved the amount of correct decisions but I know it has frustrated fans.”

Other findings in the survey included:

  • Support for being able to see VAR footage the VAR refs are seeing has gone up – 81 per cent to 85 per cent
  • Support for being able to hear the conversation between on field refs and VAR refs has gone up – 73 per cent to 77 per cent
  • 58 per cent support VAR being used to spot penalty encroachment
  • How long should VAR be able to check decisions after a potential foul? 59 per cent said 15 seconds or longer; 11 per cent said no limit, another 11 per cent said there should be no VAR decisions if play continues
  • 69 per cent say worsened the pace of the game
  • But 71 per cent say it’s not made the quality any worse; 15 per cent said it’s better, 12 per cent said it’s worse
  • 49 per cent say it’s improved refereeing decisions; 25 per cent say it’s made them worse

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