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Exclusive: Former Chelsea striker Sutton calls for VAR to be scrapped

Former Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton has called for VAR to be scrapped until the Premier League work out a way to improve decision making.

Speaking on a VAR panel this week, the former Premier League winner criticised the way VAR has been implemented and called for it to be scrapped until it is improved.

Former England right-back Paul Parker and ex Premier League referee Keith Hackett agreed that VAR hadn't worked so far, but didn't go as far as calling for it to be scrapped.

Sutton said: "VAR needs to be scrapped until referees get a better level of training and they're competent in making decisions.

"Watching games this season, we've seen some incredibly bad decisions. At this time of the season they need to scrap it and bring it back next season once all the training has taken place."

Hackett added that the standards at the Professional Game Match Officials Board, an organisation he used to head up, had fallen.

"I think it's a mess and the referees need help," he argued.

"When I was the boss of the PGMOL, every time I analysed an error made by referee, invariably they were caught out of position and didn't have a viewing angle.

"So for me, I'm the strongest supporter of VAR, but if you want the English version of VAR we've made the biggest mess of it, that we could have ever made of the introduction of a piece of technology to help referees."

Parker also criticised how VAR has been implemented and called for the Premier League to change the way it is used.

He said: "It is obvious it's not working, but I don't dismiss it as it is something we need.

"Maybe we are trying to do too much at one given time; it needs to kind of slowly get into maybe certain segments of what's going on in the game."


The panel was organised by BonusCodeBets and prior to the event the firm conducted research which found that 58% of Premier League fans surveyed claim VAR should be scrapped before next season.

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William Dodds

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