The Premier League is contemplating a replacement for Hawk-Eye as their VAR operator due to an increasing number of complaints from managers.
Recent weeks have seen heavy criticism of the system, notably from Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta following his team’s loss to Newcastle.
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Additional errors in the Wolves’ defeat to Sheffield United prompted a meeting between refereeing chief Howard Webb and Gary O’Neil in response to the concerns.
While a judgment on Thursday affirmed the correctness of the decision to award Newcastle’s winning goal against Arsenal, changes are being considered. The primary alteration is anticipated to involve the operators responsible for delivering VAR replay footage.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Hawk-Eye’s contract with the Premier League is set to expire at the end of the next season.
League officials might explore alternative options when the contract concludes, potentially moving away from the company that has managed the system since VAR’s introduction. Rival technology and data firms are reportedly preparing to bid for the new contract.
Hawk-Eye is also responsible for the goal-line technology system, widely considered a success, except for Sheffield United’s infamous ‘ghost goal’ at Aston Villa during Project Restart.
The current contract with the Premier League was established at the beginning of the 2019/2020 campaign when VAR was introduced.
Despite being recognized as global leaders in similar VAR systems in cricket and tennis, there is an acknowledged difficulty in their transition to football.
The potential changes will likely be welcomed by Arteta, who has been outspoken in his criticism, including a furious rant after the game at St James’ Park, followed by an explosive club statement released by Arsenal.
Arteta continued to express his concerns about VAR in the buildup to Arsenal’s Champions League match against Sevilla earlier this week.
“It is my duty to stand in front of you, to stand in front of the cameras and give a very clear and honest assessment of what happens in the game. This is what I did, reflect very openly how I felt that the team played and how they game was conditioned by this result with the decisions that were made,” he said.
“Some things don’t happen overnight. When it was that clear and I had all the evidence for the words that I used in the media, it’s because I feel strongly about them. I would do it and the club would do it again and again until this is right.
“We have a duty to express how we feel with all the evidence that we have and the history of what happened. I think we have to really stand for our people, our values and who we are. We all want the same, but we have to understand that it has to be there.
“Errors are part of an evolution. Rhere are always bumps along the road and maybe these things are very necessary to happen to improve the game in the right way, that’s it.
“But we have to talk loudly, if we have a problem, let’s talk about this, let’s try to improve it in a very constructive way, that’s it, that’s what we are trying to do, nothing else.”