The Premier League and the PGMOL will now release VAR audio for the first time this term after Arsenal were controversially denied a penalty against Manchester United.
That is according to ESPN, which reports that the Premier League will release the audio from the discussions between the on-field referees and VAR officials on Wednesday. It will give all rights holders its latest ‘Match Officials: Mic’d Up’ show on incidents from this season so far.
Sky Sports will broadcast the show first at 20:00 BST this Wednesday, September 6. Michael Owen will also feature and offer further insight into some of the big decisions. The show will likely cover the decision to overturn Arsenal’s penalty against Manchester United on Sunday.
Premier League and PGMOL will release VAR audio
On-field referee Anthony Taylor initially pointed to the spot as Aaron Wan-Bissaka appeared to trip Kai Havertz. But VAR Jarred Gillett suggested Taylor should overturn his decision after slow-motion replays implied Havertz’s trailing foot created the contact as he squeezed past.
Taylor agreed with Gillett’s suggestion and denied Havertz a penalty. While Gillett was again at the centre of controversy when the VAR ruled out Alejandro Garnacho’s goal as Gabriel Magalhaes caught the forward offside before he put Manchester United in front at Arsenal.
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Audio of the conversation between Gillett and Taylor regarding Havertz’s non-penalty could feature in the Premier League’s ‘Match Officials: Mic’d Up’ show. It is the first time this term that the Premier League and the PGMOL release the VAR audio following a trial back in May.
Chief refereeing officer, Howard Webb, appeared on Sky Sports in May to go through various VAR incidents from last season. He used previously unreleased audio to help to explain how the officials reached their decisions. It is expected to be a monthly feature through 2023/24.
The Premier League and the PGMOL have not confirmed which incidents will feature in this week’s VAR review show. But Webb has already admitted that referees made mistakes when they denied Wolves a penalty at Manchester United as Andre Onana fouled Sasa Kalajdzic.
Liverpool also successfully appealed Alexis Mac Allister’s three-game ban for his red card for fouling Bournemouth’s Ryan Christie. Yet referee Michael Oliver and VAR Tony Harrington let an unlawful Manchester City goal stand against Fulham despite Manuel Akanji being offside.
Why Premier League VAR audio cannot be broadcast live
The release of VAR audio will help fans understand why referees come to certain decisions – potentially including Arsenal’s non-penalty against Manchester United. But fans will not get to hear those VAR conversations live for some time yet owing to a FIFA law on the matter.
“We can’t play the footage of VAR communications live during the game, that’s not allowed within the laws of the game,” Webb said, via quotes by Sky News, in May. “FIFA don’t allow us to play this out during the game.”