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Supporters' body urges clubs to consult fans before debating VAR's future


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The Football Supporters' Association, the body that represents supporters in England and Wales, has urged Premier League clubs to consult their fans before debating whether to keep or scrap the video assistant referee system.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' formal proposal to rid the top flight of VAR means a discussion on the technology's future will take place at the Premier League's annual general meeting on June 6. The clubs will then reportedly vote on the matter, with a 14-6 majority needed to pass the abolition of VAR.

"We've spoken regularly with the Premier League about VAR since 2017-18 as, prior to its introduction, we emphasized the importance of in-stadia communication and speed of decision-making. It's fair to say that still hasn't been solved," the FSA told theScore in a statement Thursday.

The FSA added, "We'd encourage all clubs to engage with their supporters' groups on important issues which affect the matchday experience - and VAR is obviously in that category. Credit to Wolves for doing so, and we'd like to see the other 19 clubs follow that example."

The FSA's findings from its 2023 National Supporters Survey found just 5.5% of fans who experienced VAR in stadiums rated their experience as good or very good. The FSA found in 2017 that 74.6% of fans were in favor of trialing video referees for game-changing decisions; by 2023, 63.3% of the supporters surveyed were against VAR.

Among Wolves' complaints about video review since it was introduced to the Premier League in 2019 were that it negatively impacts celebrations while causing confusion and frustration in the stands, thereby harming the matchday experience. The club's proposal noted that matches lack fluidity and run too long due to excessive VAR checks. It also said VAR has undermined on-pitch officials' authority, adding that the "constant discourse" about VAR dominates conversation about the actual football.

"VAR has taken the enjoyment out of the game we all know and love with such little benefit," the Wolves 1877 Supporters Trust posted on X on Wednesday while backing the club's proposal.

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