Sheffield United: The VAR controversy Blades will NOT encounter in the Premier League following Womens' World Cup controversy
Video assistant referees in the Premier League will not order retakes of penalties based on the positions of goalkeepers next season, as Sheffield United prepare to use the technology for the first time.
The directive, revealed by The Times, means that decisions on penalty retakes will be left to the match officials, rather than replayed by video assistant referees (VARs).
The technology attracted fresh controversy in the Women’s World Cup last night, when Scotland faced Argentina needing to win to keep their hopes of progressing to the next round alive. They went 3-0 ahead before Argentina pulled it back to 3-2, and were awarded a 94th-minute penalty.
Florencia Bonsegundo’s spot-kick was initially saved by Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander, only for Alexander to be punished by VAR for straying marginally off her goal-line and a re-take ordered. Bonsegundo made no mistake the second time round for a 3-3 draw that sealed Scotland’s exit from the World Cup.
A new law, ordering goalkeepers to keep at least one foot on their goalline when a penalty is taken, came into operation before the tournament, leading to fears that VAR in the Premier League would order penalty retakes on a weekly basis from next season.
Instead, though, such decisions will be left to match officials - who have shown a degree of tolerance with regards goalkeepers’ positions when facing penalties over the years.