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Premier League: Semi-automated offside technology will be good for fans, says Fulham boss Silva


Fulham manager Marco Silva believes the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) in the Premier League next season will help protect the “intensity” and “passion” of the game for fans.

Top-flight clubs this week unanimously approved the introduction of SAOT, which was used at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is expected to launch in England in September or October.

“Anything that can help the officials to take better decisions is a good thing,” said Silva. “If we can help the officials, it’s going to be great.”

SAOT is expected to cut the length of video assistant referee (VAR) checks for offside by 31 seconds.

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VAR is held in mixed regard by supporters partly because of its tendency to slow games down while officials review incidents, often halting play for several minutes.

“In my opinion, all the tools you can use so that those decisions are coming quicker [make it] even better,” suggested Silva.

“What everyone loves about this competition is the intensity, the passion of everything in the game.

“Of course we want the right decisions as well – but if you can take them in less time, that is going to be really helpful for football and the fans.

“That’s what we want. If it can help them to make decisions much quicker, it’s much better.”

West Ham v Fulham: Teams want ‘response’

The 13th-placed Cottagers will seek to end a two-match losing run when they visit West Ham on Sunday (2pm GMT), facing sixth-placed opponents who lost the first leg of their Uefa Europa League quarter-final 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday.

“[They’re] a team who want a response from the last game, like us,” said Silva. “[They’re] fighting to be in Europe again… they want to probably to climb up or keep their place.

“That is what I’m thinking. I’m not going to prepare for a game thinking about whether [West Ham] are going to be tired or not.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.


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