Mark Clattenburg has slammed VAR and claims it is making referees worse.
The ex-Premier League referee revealed the introduction of VAR almost made him quit officiating.
He believes it made him more hesitant to make on-field decisions, and more reliant on VAR.
Clattenburg claims Prem refs are fearful of making an incorrect decision and having it overturned – but that leads to VAR not intervening at all, as happened when the ball struck Tomas Soucek’s hand in West Ham’s draw with Chelsea last weekend.
Clattenburg, 47, explained the issue to The Mirror, saying: “VAR has caused a big problem.
“It happened to me when I went to China, I started not refereeing, and I actually relied on the VAR. For the first month I felt like I was going to quit.
“I thought, what am I doing? I’ve lost my core ability to make a decision. As a referee you make split second decisions and I was so comfortable at doing it.
“I’d made lots of decisions in the Premier League and I didn’t need VAR – well I could’ve needed it sometimes, but not to the amount that they’re using it now.
“When I see these referees now week in, week out, there is a fear, and they’re scared to make a decision. The problem is when you’re scared to make a decision you don’t make one, and then the VAR doesn’t make one either.
“If we look at the West Ham decision against Chelsea on Saturday [Tomas Soucek’s handball]… Because the referee doesn’t give it, the VAR then goes ‘I don’t want to give it because he’s breaking his fall’, so it compounds the mistake.
“If the referee just gave the penalty as he should have seen it and had the courage to blow, the VAR would’ve supported it. So, we have still got all of these problems with the referees not making the original decisions like we did in our time and that’s the difference.”
VAR has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent weeks with the Premier League forced to apologise to Brighton and Arsenal after mistakes potentially cost them points last weekend.
PGMOL chief Howard Webb called an emergency meeting to try and solve the problems while John Brooks was taken off VAR duty this week after incorrectly ruling a goal offside in Crystal Palace’s draw with Brighton.