Mike Riley announces he will step down as the head of PGMOL after 13 years

Mike Riley
Riley oversaw the development of match officials in the Premier League, FA, EFL and National League competitions and more recently the Women’s Super League

Referees' chief Mike Riley, who led on the implementation of VAR in the Premier League, has announced he will step down next season.

Riley, 57, has headed Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body responsible for match officials in England, for 13 years.

He has faced criticism over how VAR has been used in the English top flight.

"I am proud of the contribution our match officials have made to the professional game," Riley said.

"Now is the right time to plan for the future and allow the new leadership team to build on the strong foundations that we have in place."

PGMOL have said they will confirm Riley's replacement in due course.

Richard Masters, the chief executive of the Premier League, thanked Riley for his commitment to the game.

"During his time at PGMOL, he has worked hard to deliver and develop high-quality match officials across the professional game and led on the implementation of VAR into the Premier League three seasons ago," Masters said.

VAR was introduced in the Premier League for the 2019-20 season and has divided opinion.

It was initially implemented to review "clear and obvious errors" in four game-changing incidents: goals, penalties, straight red cards and mistaken identity.

However, changes have been made throughout it's three years of operation and before the start of last season, Riley promised VAR would be "dialled back" with officials told not to penalise "trivial things".

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