British Airways PILOTS are called in to help with Premier League’s VAR farce – giving refs tips from dealing with air traffic control to ditch their ‘mate-y’ chat and be clearer in communication

  • The Premier League asked BA pilots to give a presentation to their referees
  • This follows a number of controversial VAR incidents in the top flight this season
  • No one will be fooled by the nature of Man United’s performances this season IAKO

The Premier League has reportedly enlisted the help of British Airways pilots to help VAR officials improve their communications and avoid blunders following a number of high-profile incidents this season.

Liverpool’s Luis Diaz had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside against Tottenham in September after VAR official Darren England wrongly thought the goal had been given on the pitch and told the on-pitch referee to stand by his decision .

Following criticism, the Premier League has taken the unprecedented step of calling in British Airways pilots to speak to their referees. The times.

Pilots Chris Heaven and Pete Nataraj were keen to emphasize the importance of communication and encouraged officials to use “short and direct” language rather than informal dialogue when talking to each other.

This comes after the discussion during the Diaz incident was made public, with officials referring to each other as “guys” and “mate.”

British Airways pilots spoke to VAR officials about improving their communications

This comes after Luis Diaz had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside earlier this season

PGMOL chief Howard Webb (pictured) played a key role in putting the meeting together

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Communication also seemed frantic at times as Diaz’s disallowed goal played out, with referee Simon Hooper’s assistant Simon Long shouting ‘give it’ on the pitch but not clarifying whether he had given the goal or disallowed it for offside.

During their 45-minute presentation, Heaven and Nataraj made it clear that communication must be clear and effective, and that referees must remain calm under pressure.

They also highlighted similarities between their jobs as pilots and the role referees have on the field.

This included filtering out the white noise on take-off and landing and focusing on what matters most when communicating with air traffic control, especially if there are potential language barriers when traveling abroad.

PGMOL chief Howard Webb played a key role in arranging the meeting between the pilots and referees, while Jon Moss, the Select Group director, was also heavily involved in organizing the session.

Players, experts and fans have regularly expressed their concerns about VAR since its introduction in 2019.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has lashed out at the decision to let Anthony Gordon’s winner for Newcastle against his side earlier this month be ‘a disgrace’ after a lengthy VAR check, and has since been sued for his comments.

However, a poll by The Times found that more than 75 percent of people in the football world want the system to continue, but the majority want to see changes to the system to make it more effective.


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