Airline pilots enlisted to help Premier League officials communicate during VAR reviews

Referee Craig Pawson looks at a replay on a monitor during a VAR review, before awarding a penalty to Liverpool, during their Premier League football match against Everton at Anfield in October

Referee Craig Pawson looks at a replay on a monitor during a VAR review, before awarding a penalty to Liverpool, during their Premier League football match against Everton at Anfield in October. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP

Published Nov 24, 2023

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British Airways pilots have been enlisted to help improve the communication of Premier League officials during VAR reviews, The Times reported, after Liverpool wrongly had a goal disallowed earlier this season due to a blunder.

In a presentation to top-flight officials, pilots Chris Heaven and Pete Nataraj stressed the need for clarity and accuracy in communication, with minimal syllables and no informal language, The Times said on Friday.

Liverpool's Luis Diaz had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in a 2-1 loss to Tottenham in September after chaotic miscommunication between the VAR and assistant VAR Darren England and Dan Cook and the on-field referee Simon Hooper.

The audio of the incident was met with severe criticism of the decision making process and the language used, with the officials using phrases such as "well done boys" and "cheers, mate".

The 45-minute presentation addressed the similarity of the roles, and the importance of filtering out the white noise in order to focus with complete clarity.

A full review of VAR procedures was ordered after the Diaz incident.

Reuters

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