Premier League clubs unlikely to approve use of VAR for next season

The implementation of the video assistant referee system (VAR) in the Premier League next season appears unlikely as a number of clubs are reluctant to ratify its use at a shareholders meeting on Friday.

VAR has been marred by controversy during the testing phase, with complaints from managers and players compounded by fans' frustration at the decision-making process.

The length of time it takes to make a decision and the lack of information about it inside stadiums are among the issues that have arisen during testing in this season's FA Cup.

VAR will be used at the World Cup in Russia this summer after being approved by the FIFA council last month, yet it appears that the Premier League will not be doing so.

At least 14 clubs must accept the proposal to use VAR in order for it to be implemented in 2018-19, but many would rather wait another season so that it can be fine-tuned.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes VAR is a necessary measure as he wants to give officials every chance to make correct decisions.

"I am sure that soon we will reach a stage in which VARs are part and parcel of the game and its flow," he wrote in the April edition of the FIFA magazine. "Right now, while technology is still a novelty in football, every single incident draws attention and is dissected like an anomaly -- unlike the many seconds that we have grown used to wasting, say, in between free-kicks or throw-ins.

"Will there still be mistakes? Absolutely. Unavoidable ones. An important component of football refereeing is subjective, and for that we will always have to count on human judgement ... however, we have an obligation to provide match officials with all of the tools they need to help them take decisions as accurately as possible."

The Premier League said last month it is "open to considering new technology that assists match officials without disrupting the flow of the game."

Those trials have informed the league's discussions with its clubs, and Press Association reported that some believe VAR is being employed too widely and that more subjective decisions, such as fouls, should be left to officials.

Questions still remain about what constitutes a mistake. England manager Gareth Southgate was recently frustrated by the VAR as a penalty that allowed Italy to grab a late 1-1 draw was not a "clear and obvious" error.