Mike Riley: Premier League VAR changes will see end of offsides for toenails and noses this season

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Premier League referee Chief Mike Riley stated that players will be given the benefit of the doubt as goals won't have to be ruled out because of noses and toenails.

The Professional Game Match Officials Board, (PGMOL), has made subtle changes to the use of VAR by an official after being heavily criticized over the past two seasons. To give advantage to the attacking side, the lines that were used to make marginal offside decisions have been made thicker. Riley stated that the removal of 'forensic scrutiny" will eliminate the possibility of goals being ruled out if a player's nose or toe was in an offside position. This will result in around 20 more goals scored during the season. Riley stated that the fundamental approach should allow players to express themselves and let the game go. It means that VAR teams won't intervene in trivial offenses and that the threshold for referee intervention and VAR intervention will slightly be higher than last season. We have given the advantage of doubt to the attacking player. In cases where there is a very close offside situation, the process will be the same as last year, but with thicker broadcast lines. "Effectively, we have given back 20 goals that were offside last season through forensic scrutiny. "So it's the toenails and the noses of players who were offside – they won't now be offside." Other decisions were made where the goals could not be accepted due to the players' armpits being on the wrong side. FIFA now states that the armpit will be the measurement point for offsides. After last season's record-breaking 125 penalties, there will be an adjustment in how penalties are handled. The referee must determine whether there was clear contact and whether there was enough consequence to issue a penalty. Also, it should establish whether the contact was used to try to win fouls or penalties. Riley said, "It doesn't suffice to simply say that there was contact." Referees should not look at contact alone. "If you have clear contact, that's a consequence. If you have any doubts about this element, they will not be penalized. "You want it to be a true foul, not just the contact someone made to try to get a penalty." The much-maligned handball rules have been changed. Goals that were accidentally handled by a teammate during the build-up will no longer be allowed to score. Additionally, VAR was not available to the public for the first two years. This led to the sharing of screenshots of decisions that were borderline and further negative effects on the decision-review process. All decisions will therefore be taken off-screen starting now.

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