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Video Assistant Referee to be trialed in FA Cup

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Video Assistant Referees [VARs] will be trialled from the third round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup in January 2018.

The match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace on Monday 8th January will be the first competitive use of the technology in this country and forms part of the International Football Association Board’s [IFAB] global development of the VAR system.

The technology was used in November at Wembley – without being executed in play – at England’s two senior men’s inter­nati­onals against Germany and Brazil.

It is intended that the technology will then be used for the remainder of the competition at a select number of fixtures.

Andy Ambler, director of professional game relations at The FA, said: “The FA has always been open to trialling new innovations and was heavily involved in the advancement of goal-line technology before it was introduced.

“The trialling of the VAR system in this season’s Emirates FA Cup from the third round is a continuation of that and further demonstrates that whilst being the most famous and historic domestic cup competition in the world it is also modern, progressive and innovative.”

The VAR trials, which will include the League Cup semi-finals in January 2018, are being led by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body responsible for training and developing English football’s elite match officials and follow an extensive education programme and ‘live’ experiment phase.

VARs are being trialled for clear and obvious errors, or serious missed incidents, relating to specific incidents in three ‘game changing’ situations – goals, penalty/no penalty decisions and straight red cards, plus mistaken identity for red or yellow cards.

The VAR automatically checks every such incident and if a clear and obvious error has occurred the referee is informed; the referee can then confirm or change the original decision based on the information from the VAR, or the referee looks at a replay on the side of the pitch. The original decision is only changed if it was clearly and obviously wrong.

JC

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