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Airline pilots enlisted to help Premier League officials

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- Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - November 6, 2023 General view of the big screen during a VAR review REUTERS/Tony Obrien/ File photo Acquire Licensing Rights

British Airways pilots have been enlisted to help improve the communication of Premier League officials during VAR reviews, The Times reported, after Liverpool wrongly had a goal disallowed earlier this season due to a blunder.

In a presentation to top-flight officials, pilots Chris Heaven and Pete Nataraj stressed the need for clarity and accuracy in communication, with minimal syllables and no informal language, The Times said on Friday.

Liverpool’s Luis Diaz had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in a 2-1 loss to Tottenham in September after chaotic miscommunication between the VAR and assistant VAR Darren England and Dan Cook and the on-field referee Simon Hooper.

The audio of the incident was met with severe criticism of the decision making process and the language used, with the officials using phrases such as “well done boys” and “cheers, mate”.

The 45-minute presentation addressed the similarity of the roles, and the importance of filtering out the white noise in order to focus with complete clarity.

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A full review of VAR procedures was ordered after the Diaz incident.

-Reuters

 

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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