Martin Keown questions whether the Premier League should SUSPEND VAR

Martin Keown questions whether the Premier League should SUSPEND use of VAR after a string of high-profile errors last weekend… as the Arsenal legend says ‘glaring mistakes’ are having ‘lasting effects’ on the top flight

  • Martin Keown has questioned whether the Premier League should suspend VAR
  • He feels too many referees are making ‘glaring mistakes’ in the VAR room weekly
  • John Brooks has been removed from VAR duty for Monday’s Merseyside derby 

Martin Keown has questioned whether the Premier League should suspend VAR following a host of ‘glaring mistakes’ in the top flight at the weekend.

During a matchweek embroiled in VAR controversy, referee John Brooks chalked off Pervis Estupinan’s strike against Crystal Palace on Saturday – denying Brighton an opening goal – after drawing the offside line from the wrong defender.

Brooks has since been taken off VAR duty for Monday’s Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, as well as Wednesday’s title race clash between Arsenal and Manchester City.

Video official Lee Mason was also widely scolded after forgetting to draw any offside lines when reviewing Brentford’s equaliser against Arsenal.

Sportsmail reported on Sunday that refereeing chief Howard Webb had called an emergency meeting and was considering axing both Brooks and Mason following the high-profile mistakes. 

Martin Keown has posed whether the Premier League should suspend VAR after the weekend

Referee John Brooks drew a line from the wrong defender whilst officiating in the VAR room

Keown suggested that, rather than punishing the individuals for making mistakes, the Premier League should consider suspending VAR immediately until officials learn how to manage the systems appropriately.

‘Is it getting to the stage where we have to suspend VAR until we get it absolutely right? These (mistakes) are glaring,’ the ex-Arsenal defender said whilst appearing on talkSPORT.

‘To forget to put a line in, I mean I’m trying to look at a comparable of that in any other job or walk of life.’

‘Obviously we want to progress in the Premier League, want to be ground-breaking and lead the way. But you have to look at the process, these individual decisions. Have we got enough people in the actual booths? 

‘In the World Cup, there were seven people in that room and they got everything pretty much right, didn’t they? There were good people, top people, well trained. We’re getting it wrong.

‘Maybe there aren’t enough people, maybe they’re not taking enough time. Just take your time and get the decision right.

‘I’m looking at Lee Mason being involved in a succession of mistakes in the VAR room. How many mistakes are you allowed to make? We don’t want to come down too hard on people because it’s brand new technology, so I’m looking at the overall systems. It’s not just one person, it’s a group of people making mistakes.

‘Maybe they need to look at the system here and more people need to be involved to make the right decision. Because it has lasting effects. 

Brooks has since been removed from VAR duty for the Merseyside derby on Monday evening

Howard Webb acted after calling officials to an emergency meeting after the two VAR howlers

‘Look at Brentford this weekend. People will say they deserved it, but not really. Offside is offside. This is the one area they told us they can’t make mistakes. And they’re making glaring mistakes.’

The PGMOL confirmed that Brooks had been dropped in a statement on Monday.

It read: ‘John Brooks has been replaced as VAR for both Liverpool v Everton tonight and Arsenal v Manchester City on Wednesday evening. 

‘Andre Marriner and David Coote will assume VAR duties in his place tonight and Wednesday respectively. Due to a Monday evening fixture, appointments for the weekend’s matches will be announced tomorrow.’ 

Brighton said they had received an apology from the PGMOL for the error.

‘As was confirmed to the club by PGMOL last night, a serious error was made in disallowing Pervis Estupinan’s goal at Crystal Palace yesterday afternoon,’ the club said. 

‘The lines drawn in the VAR room to determine whether Pervis was in an offside position were drawn incorrectly, and the goal should have stood. 

‘While hugely disappointed by the error, the club has accepted PGMOL’s apology and will not be making any further comment.’

Video referee Lee Mason should have ruled out Ivan Toney’s goal against Arsenal on Saturday

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