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Man Utd legend hopes VAR could stop “diving disease” in Premier League

Manchester United legend Gordon Hill has warned the Premier League against relying on VAR to solve their refereeing problems, but says it could help stamp out the “disease” of diving.

Hill, who played 101 games for United, believes video assistant referee technology should only be called upon in the most extreme of circumstances, to correct an obvious mistake.

“It’s a devil if you do and a devil if you don’t,” Hill told Macquarie Sports Radio‘s Cam Reddin.

“Professional referees have to be able to make decisions. What I don’t want is referees to rely solely on the VAR. They should only consult VAR if it is a really serious situation in front of the goal, like ‘did it go over the line?’,” Hill said.

“A bit like tennis: if it’s out, it’s out. That’s it.”

Club officials agreed in principle for the VAR to become part of the Premier League from season 2019/20, following trials in other competitions like the FA Cup.

While Hill believes referees must be trusted to make the right decision, they cannot get every decision is right. However, he remains unconvinced VAR will solve all officiating dilemmas.

“Diving is like a disease. You’re going to have someone that dives, gets away with it and that costs a club relegation,” he said.

“They’ve tried to complicate a very simple game. VAR is not the answer. Common sense and referees being in (the game), that’s a start,” Hill said.

Last week, Southampton striker Charlie Austin launched a scathing rebuke of refereeing standards after his side’s 1-1 draw with Watford.

Austin claimed if VAR was already in effect, his goal – that would have put Southampton 2-0 up – would not have been disallowed.

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