The Premier League will introduce Video Assistant Referees, or VAR, into the league starting from next season. The decision was taken today at a league shareholder meeting, where all 20 clubs were present.
The Premier League has been background testing the technology at matches throughout the current season, although it was not available for referees to consult in-game.
Those tests seem to have been a success, with the technology set be introduced next season. The Premier League released this statement on their website:
Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to introduce Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to the competition in the 2019/20 season.
Key learnings from VAR's use in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and other leagues across the world, were discussed in detail.
The Premier League’s non-live testing programme will remain in place for the rest of this season, with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently, and developing a clear protocol for communicating VAR decisions to fans.
The League will now formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and FIFA to use VAR next season.
In April of this year Premier League clubs rejected the chance to have VAR in use during the 2018/19 season, but their stance has now softened. The lack of success during the trial in last year's FA Cup seemed to have turned English clubs off its use, but the technology has been refined since then.
Video Assistant Referees were used to great success during the summer World Cup in Russia, while they have also been introduced in other top flight leagues such as Germany and Italy over the last couple of seasons.
There had been calls for its introduction into England in recent weeks, with Southampton's Charlie Austin passionately making the case for VAR after his goal against Watford was wrongly ruled out for offside.