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Webb: Video assistant referees will help to win the war on diving in English football

Date Posted,June 23, 2017

Howard Webb believes video assistant referees will help to win the war on diving in English football.

The Football Association want to test the controversial system next season in the FA Cup from the third round ­onwards. It could also be used in the Carabao Cup.

The technology was ­criticised earlier this month in England’s friendly against France when Raphael Varane was sent off and at the ­Confederations Cup.

Webb ­remains a believer, however.

He insists it will help officials to administer instant justice – and that cheats won’t prosper.

The former ­Premier League and World Cup whistler is ­overseeing the ­introduction of the system in the MLS. “There would be an ­immediate ­punishment,” he said.

Webb now works as a pundit on BT Sport (Photo: BT Sport)

“That’s miles better than ­retrospective action some way down the line because the player would not otherwise get the ­punishment on the day. It’s also better than having no VAR because the penalty would ­otherwise stand – wrongly.

“So we are getting to the right sort of an answer where it is clear and obvious.”

The FA has already revealed ­ plans to ­retrospectively punish players who dive with two-match bans from August under the new offence of successful deception of a match official.

Webb believes the VAR will be even more effective in ensuring games are not decided unfairly.

He said: “If it involves the award of a penalty – the referee gets conned, player goes down, no contact at all – the VAR can check it.

“The referee can then go back and cancel the penalty.

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“He’d award a yellow card to the player and he’d ­restart the game with an indirect free-kick.

“The fans will see ­several new signals. One is when the referee is receiving information about a check. Imagine a goal is scored but it is tight for offside.

“The VAR needs to check whether there was an offside in the build-up to the goal.

“Before the restart the ref will put his finger to his ear and his hand up to hold the kick-off. That’s telling everybody that we are just checking that this goal is good.”

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