Premier League to introduce VAR for 2019-20 season

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The English top flight will be the next to adopt video technology after clubs agreed to use it from the beginning of the next campaign

Premier League clubs have voted in favour of introducing Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to the competition from the 2019-20 season onwards.

The prospect was discussed at a shareholder's meeting and agreed "in principle" to follow the lead set in Serie A, the Bundesliga and La Liga and after its implementation at the World Cup in Russia.

The technology is already being used in the FA Cup and EFL Cup, but will now spread to the English top flight, as well as the Champions League, from the beginning of the 2019-20 season.

"Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to introduce Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to the competition in the 2019/20 season," a statement on the league's website read.

"At a Shareholders’ Meeting today, clubs were provided with an update on the non-live VAR trials being undertaken by the League and Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL) this season.

"Key learnings from VAR's use in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and other leagues across the world, were discussed in detail.

"The Premier League’s non-live testing programme will remain in place for the rest of this season, with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently, and developing a clear protocol for communicating VAR decisions to fans.

"The League will now formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and FIFA to use VAR next season."

The news comes less than a week after Southampton manager Mark Hughes said the Premier League is "still in the dark ages" because of its delay in adopting VAR .

The Saints boss was complaining after striker Charlie Austin had a goal disallowed against Watford, prompting the forward to hit out at officials in an interview after the game.

"It's ridiculous. Watford shouldn't be in the game. We scored a perfectly good goal that was ruled out for offside," he said .

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"The officials cost us two points. They said it was offside; that is a joke.

"People go on about VAR. They [the referees] clearly need help. If this is the best, most-watched league in the world then give them all the help they need. It is a joke."

It was also confirmed at the shareholder's meeting that next season's summer transfer window will close before the season begins, continuing the rule introduced this year.