Former Premier League referee Bobby Madley answers key questions on VAR decisions

Another weekend, another list of VAR-based talking points.

The first half of the 2019/20 season has been nothing short of controversial since the introduction of video assistant referees, with a host of decisions leaving fans baffled.

Thankfully, former Premier League referee Bobby Madley can offer some important insight.

It was only 18 months ago that Madley left his position with the PGMOL and relocated to Norway, meaning he was active with the referees’ group during the preparation period for VAR, where protocol on how it would be used was decided.

What’s more, Madley’s brother Andy remains in the senior list of English referees.

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His departure means that he can openly talk about VAR – just as he regularly does on his Twitter account, answering questions from fans confused by the process.

He went into more detail with his opinions on VAR with his latest blog post on The Referees’ Word.

We picked out the best points in the post, to help you understand VAR a little clearer…

What is ‘clear and obvious’?

In the blog post, Madley explains how different people will see different situations and tackles differently.

Within a group of mates, one person might say something is ‘100 per cent’ a yellow card, while your old Sunday League bruiser might believe it was not even a foul.

Madley says: “What’s clear and obviously a penalty to me is not the same to someone else.

“What a VAR must do is put aside the question of ‘what would I give in that scenario’. The question they must ask is ‘is that decision clearly and obviously incorrect?’

Former Premier League referee Bobby Madley has spoken about VAR
(Image: Getty Images)

“If it falls into the TV pundit category of ‘seen it given’ then it isn’t clear and obvious.

“My opinion also is that whilst it may take some time to find a definitive angle, once the angle is found that you are happy shows the whole picture, if the VAR has to look again and again for more…