32 year old Australian referee Jarred Gillett is set to officiate in a Premier League fixture this upcoming weekend.
Gillett will be the lead Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the clash between Watford and West Ham United at Vicarage Road.
This is a big step up for Gillett, but one that is richly deserved.
Gillett is very familiar with the technology, having used it since 2017 in A-League fixtures.
With the A-League being the first domestic football league to utilise the VAR in that same year, Gillett is one of the most experienced users of the controversial technology.
Gillett has also officiated in two matches in England’s second division this season. He is to officiate another one at the weekend between recently relegated Premier League sides Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City, as well as his top flight duties.
It is a great opportunity for Gillett, but some may feel he is entering the lion’s den.
VAR has been heavily criticised ever since it was brought into the Premier League, with many players and coaches feeling that it hinders the sport in various ways.
Wolverhampton Wanderers coach Nuno Espirito Santo has gone on record saying that VAR is taking the spirit of the game away from fans.
Nuno is dead right. VAR will kill the game as we know it. Fans are beginning to only half-celebrate each goal because they know it may be chalked off. The game is built on that single moment of euphoria that comes with every goal. VAR is taking it away. pic.twitter.com/Z59vz2ERqg
— Paul Embery (@PaulEmbery) August 11, 2019
Most recently, Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus saw his winning goal against Tottenham Hotspur disallowed by VAR following a handball from City defender Aymeric Laporte.
The contact was very minor and definitely not deliberate, with many feeling that the handball was not enough to disallow the goal.
The City talisman then confronted the referees post match, expressing his and inadvertently many members of the public’s frustrations with the decision.
"VAR is s***!"
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) August 18, 2019
We wish Jarred all the best in his Premier League debut this weekend.