FA Cup to trial VAR from third round onwards

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Video assistant referees will be trialled from the third round of this season’s FA Cup, the Football Association has announced.

The technology will be used for the first time in competitive action in England, forming part of the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) global development of the VAR system.

Brighton’s third-round clash with Crystal Palace on Monday, January 8 has been selected for the VAR trial, with the technology employed in selected fixtures throughout the rest of the competition.

Video assistants were used for England’s international friendlies against Germany and Brazil in November, without being executed in play.

“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,” said the FA’s director of professional game relations Andy Ambler.

“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 will also include January’s Carabao Cup semi-finals and are being led by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

The FA confirmed in its statement that the technology will only be employed to counteract “clear and obvious errors” on specific incidents in three situations: goals, penalty decisions and straight red cards or mistaken identity for red or yellow cards.

The VAR will automatically check every relevant incident and will inform the referee of any clear and obvious error.

The referee then has the power to change the original decision based on the new information provided by the VAR, or watch a replay on the side of the pitch.

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