VAR: YouGov survey finds 67 per cent of fans say Video Assistant Referees make the game less enjoyable

Supporters give the technology an average rating of 4/10. Full coverage of YouGov's VAR survey on Sky Sports digital and Sky Sports News

A view of the VAR system pitch side during the Premier League match at Molineux, Wolverhampton.

Two-thirds of football fans believe Video Assistant Referees [VARs] have made the game less enjoyable, according to a new YouGov poll.

The survey, published today, claims 60 per cent of fans believe VAR, introduced at the start of the season in the Premier League, has worked badly, with supporters giving the technology an average rating of just 4/10.

The poll found:

  • 67 per cent of fans say VAR has made watching football less enjoyable.
  • 60 per cent say VAR has worked badly.
  • 8 per cent want to keep using VAR as it is used now.
  • 74 per cent say keep using VAR, but change the ways it is used.
  • 15 per cent want to stop using VAR entirely.

The Premier League has conducted its own research into VAR, after 250 Premier League games this season, and will present its findings to clubs at a routine meeting in London on Thursday.

Since VAR's introduction, it has provided enhanced information on big screens to provide greater clarity on the decision-making process.

Referees are now expected to use pitchside monitors [Referee Review Areas] for the upgrading and downgrading of red card incidents for serious foul play or violent conduct.

The Premier League has also held education meetings with club supporter groups to explain how and why VAR is used.

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YouGov also found:

  • 71 per cent support a time limit on VAR decisions
  • 81 per cent support being able to see the same video footage as VARs at the same time
  • 73 per cent support being able to hear conversations between referees and VARs
  • 80 per cent support encouraging the use of pitchside monitors

Time limits are not put on VAR decisions, to prevent additional pressure on match officials.


The International Football Association Board [IFAB], the game's lawmakers, currently prevent the Premier League and other competitions from showing video clips, or still images, until the referee has made a decision.

IFAB does not allow direct audio communication from the referee or VAR to supporters. It is due to hold its annual general meeting in Belfast on February 29.

The survey also found 73 per cent favoured video technology in tennis, 67 per cent in cricket, 63 per cent in Rugby Union and 49 per cent in Rugby League.

YouGov interviewed 1,419 GB adults, between January 15-22, who watch Premier League matches very or fairly frequently.

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