At the heart of this contentious issue lie the glaring errors that have punctuated VAR’s tenure in the 2023-2024 Premier League season. One such incident unfolded during Liverpool’s clash against Tottenham Hotspur, where a moment of ecstasy quickly turned to despair.

VAR decision during Southampton vs Bournemouth. Getty images 

Luis Diaz’s apparent match-winning goal was nullified by VAR, deeming him offside by a margin slimmer than a razor’s edge. However, upon closer inspection, it was revealed that the VAR lines failed to align accurately with the frame, leading to an erroneous decision that cost Liverpool two precious points.


VAR decision that saw LIUZ DIAZ goal disallowed. Image courtesy

Amidst fervent debates and mounting pressure, the Premier League stands at a crossroads as it prepares to deliberate on the future of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in an upcoming crucial meeting on June 6th. This internal discussion, ignited by a proposal from Wolver Hampton Wanderers, carries immense weight as stakeholders grapple with the possibility of scrapping VAR altogether.

Conversely, Aston Villa’s encounter with West Ham United showcased the flip side of VAR’s influence. Initially, Ollie Watkins’ goal was disallowed, only to be overturned upon VAR review, ultimately securing victory for Villa. While this decision may have been perceived as a stroke of luck for Villa, questions regarding VAR’s efficacy and consistency persist.

These incidents underscore the challenges and imperfections inherent in the VAR system, fuelling the debate surrounding its future in the Premier League. As stakeholders weigh the proposal to scrap VAR, these errors serve as poignant reminders of the system’s impact on match outcomes and the integrity of the sport.The proposal to remove VAR from the Premier League landscape faces significant hurdles, requiring support from at least 14 out of the 20 clubs. Yet, the errors and controversies surrounding VAR have sparked fervent debate among clubs, fans, and pundits alike, adding complexity to the decision-making process.


2023/24 Premier League table without VAR

Position Team Points without VAR Positional difference
1. Arsenal 63 (better goal difference) -1
2. Liverpool 63 -1
3. Man City 63 0
4. Aston Villa 57 +1
5. Tottenham 55 +2
6. Man Utd 48 +1
7. West Ham 46 +2
8. Newcastle 43 +3
9. Brighton 42 0
10. Wolves 42 +2
11. Bournemouth 37 +2
12. Fulham 36 -2
13. Chelsea 35 -5
14. Crystal Palace 29 0
15. Brentford 26 0
16. Everton 25 0
17. Luton 23 +1
18. Nottingham Forest 20 -1
19. Burnley 19 +2
20. Sheffield United 13 -1

Data correct as of 30 March 2024

Whether VAR remains a fixture in the Premier League or faces relegation, the upcoming meeting holds immense significance for the future of English football. As stakeholders convene to deliberate on VAR’s fate, the spectre of its errors looms large, urging a thorough examination of its efficacy and impact on the game.

Story by 

Anthony Juma