Survey: Over 94% of English fans say VAR makes football less enjoyable
Supporters of English football are almost unanimous in their belief that video technology has made the sport less enjoyable, according to a survey of 33,243 fans by the Football Supporters' Association (FSA).
The representative body for fans in England and Wales found 95% of those who had experienced VAR in-stadium, as well as 94% of those who'd witnessed its influence on television, said video review had lessened the spectacle.
The FSA also revealed 39% of season-ticket holders and 44% of regular match-going fans were likely to attend fewer games due to VAR's impact.
Ninety-five percent of supporters were concerned about VAR removing the spontaneous joy of goal celebrations. The time it took for video referees to make calls was another point of contention, with 86% of TV viewers and 91% of stadium attendees saying most decisions aren't resolved within a reasonable amount of time.
The FSA found only 13% of those surveyed believe VAR has improved the accuracy of refereeing decisions. However, 26% said they still supported the use of VAR.
The Premier League has awaited the results of the FSA survey with a keen interest, theScore learned in April. The FSA media release says the Premier League is conducting "a similar consultation of players and managers to make improvements to the technology from next season."
The leagues below England's top flight are yet to adopt VAR. The EFL - which oversees the Championship, League One, and League Two - told theScore there are currently no plans to introduce VAR to its divisions.
"There is a clear feeling among fans that VAR has ruined the spontaneity of goal celebrations, and taken away a big part of our most enjoyable matchday moments," said FSA vice-chair Tom Greatrex.
"With four in 10 fans saying VAR is likely to lead them to attend fewer matches, in the future, we hope the Premier League and the referees' body, PGMOL, will hear the fans' voice and take urgent steps to improve a system that isn't delivering clear and understandable decisions in stadiums."
The fans surveyed weren't overwhelmingly against the use of all technology, with 97% in favor of goal-line technology.