Players will benefit if in doubt this season as goals from toenails and noses will not be ruled out, said Premier League chief referee Mike Riley.

After receiving heavy criticism for the past two seasons, the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOL) will be making subtle changes to an official’s use of VAR in this campaign.

The dreaded lines, with which marginal offside decisions were worked out, are now made thicker in order to give the attacking side the advantage back.

Riley said the move away from “forensic scrutiny” will result in the exclusion of goals when a player’s toe or nose is in an offside position and around 20 more goals scored over the course of the season.

“Basically, we want an approach that allows players to express themselves and let the game flow,” said Riley.

“This means that the VAR teams will not intervene in the case of minor offenses and the threshold for referee and VAR interventions will be slightly higher than last season.

“We introduced the benefit of the doubt for the attacking player. So when we have a really tight offside situation we will follow the same process as last year, but now apply thicker transmission lines.

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The results of a poll by the Football Supporters’ Association published late last season found that the majority of fans were not satisfied with how VAR worked in the game

“We actually returned 20 goals for the game that were offside last season by doing a pretty forensic exam.

“So it’s the toenails, the noses of the players who were offside – they won’t be offside now.”

There have been a number of other rulings where goals were not scored under the armpits due to offside players but FIFA has now stated that the armpit is the part of the body from which offside is measured.

Referee Kevin Friend points to the point during Newcastle United’s game against Manchester City last season

There will also be an adjustment in terms of penalties after a record high of 125 was awarded last season.

This season the referee should determine not only if there was clear contact, but if he had enough consequences to award a penalty and whether the player used the contact to win a foul or a penalty kick.

“It’s not enough to just say there was contact,” added Riley. “Contact alone is just one element that the referee should look out for.

“If you have clear contact there is a consequence, it is a foul, but if in doubt it is unlikely that you will be penalized in these elements.

“They also want it to be a real foul and not the slightest contact someone used to get a penalty.”

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There is also a change to the much maligned handball rules, which now see goals that were accidentally hit by a teammate in the stand.

Additionally, for the first two years of VAR, spectators away from the stadium were able to see the drafting process, which resulted in screenshots of boundary decisions being shared and creating more negativity for the decision review system.

Hence, from now on, all decisions are made off-screen.