English refs chief admits four VAR mistakes in Premier League

LONDON (AFP) – Referees’ chief Mike Riley admitted on Thursday that four video assistant referee (VAR) mistakes have been made in the Premier League this season.

Riley addressed the controversial issue of VAR use in the Premier League at a meeting of top-flight club chairman in London.

The VAR blunders included Fabian Schar’s equaliser for Newcastle against Watford, which should have been disallowed for a handball by Isaac Hayden, and Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans avoiding a red card for an apparent stamp on Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson.

The other two errors were the decision not to award Manchester City a penalty when Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma fouled David Silva and West Ham not getting a spot-kick after Sebastien Haller was brought down by Norwich’s Tom Trybull.

Riley said the Silva, Haller and Tielemans incidents were indicative of the high bar the Premier League has set for overturning the decisions of the on-field referee.

But he conceded the “clear and obvious” bar had been reached in each of these cases.

“If you look at the four match rounds 227 incidents have been checked,” Riley told Sky Sports News.

“Out of that we’ve changed six decisions, (and) we think we should have changed 10 in total.

“That gives you the scale of where VAR can help and add value to the game. But it also demonstrates that this is still about refereeing a game.”