Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has slammed the Video Assistant Referee system ahead of Saturday’s decision on whether to use it at this summer’s World Cup.
Parish called the introduction of VAR a ‘dangerous road to go down’ while speaking at the Sport Industry Breakfast Club on Wednesday.
Nevertheless, the rule-making International Football Association Board are expected to give it the green light for Russia 2018 when they meet in Zurich following trials in numerous countries. Here, it has been deployed in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and for England internationals.
Video Assistant Referees are under attack ahead of a possible introduction into league football
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish says VAR technology will ruin the spectacle of football
However, mixed results have not impressed Parish, who says he will vote against the Premier League bringing in the technology when the clubs make a decision next month.
He said: ‘I am very worried about VAR. I hate all those games that stop and start, waiting for a decision, and they don’t necessarily get the decision right.
‘We’re going down an incredibly dangerous road with that. My real problem is that we’ve got it for five decisions at the moment, but I can’t see any end to it. You know the answer for everything is going to be more VAR.
‘I don’t see a point of having it for five things when you’re still going to get massive injustices. I remember when rugby introduced Television Match Officials. I just lost interest in it.’
The expectation is that the Premier League will vote in favour, especially with the Bundesliga and La Liga doing so already. But scepticism is growing among Parish’s PL colleagues and he added: ‘Right now I would be a no. But if the rest of world football was a yes, that’s not even close.’
He claims VAR will not rid the game of injustices, such as those felt by Arsenal on Sunday
A barrage of contention decisions slowed Tottenham’s tie with Rochdale down considerably
The ECB may be without a car sponsor after Toyota decided not to renew their backing. But former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who has switched agents to join Benchmark Sports, has managed to attract blue-chip marque Aston Martin to support his emerging professional cycling team One Pro.
The RFU are reviewing the generous perks given to their privileged members, which include seats in the Royal Box at Twickenham.
The threatened members believe the Union are doing this in order to give more prime seats to sponsors.
But the RFU say they are so short of room in the Royal Box and other VIP hospitality areas that it has a become a health and safety issue.
The RFU will review perks of members, which include seats in the Royal Box at Twickenham
Positive news for all sports governing bodies is that recent financial reforms will allow spending on community sport to be offset against corporation tax.
So, expect a rash of grassroots initiatives coming out of Lord’s, Wembley, Twickenham and Roehampton.
Rugby chiefs look east
At a time when Italy are not providing any real Six Nations competition, it is relevant that the RFU revealed plans at their last council meeting to fix up games, as well as training opportunities, with Romania and Georgia at Under 20 level, and to help the rugby development of those countries where possible.
England’s senior team also had a scrummaging session with Georgia in the build-up to last Saturday’s defeat by Scotland.
For the future health of the Six Nations, Italy should play off with Georgia and Romania for a place in the tournament sooner rather than later.
With Italy offering little to the Six Nations, the development of other countries will be helped
Sports strategists Jon Tibbs Association stood down as representatives of the three-way 2026 World Cup bid from the USA, Mexico and Canada following a conflict of interest, with new UEFA communications chief Phil Townsend’s wife Sevi being managing director of JTA.
Arch-rivals Vero, who are working for Morocco 2026, have revealed they put their contract with UEFA on hold last December when appointed by Morocco, but did not announce it at the time.