VAR to be used in 13 Emirates FA Cup third round ties this weekend

Thursday 02 Jan 2020
VAR was trialled in the Emirates FA Cup before being adopted by the Premier League for the 2019-20 season

All Emirates FA Cup third round ties hosted at Premier League stadia will have video assistant referees (VARs) in place, we can confirm.

The following matches will each see the in-stadium officials aided by VARs:

Saturday 4 January 2020
AFC Bournemouth vs Luton Town
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Sheffield Wednesday
Burnley vs Peterborough United
Leicester City vs Wigan Athletic
Manchester City vs Port Vale
Southampton vs Huddersfield Town
Watford vs Tranmere Rovers
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United

Sunday 5 January 2020
Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace vs Derby County
Liverpool vs Everton
Sheffield United vs AFC Fylde

Monday 6 January 2020
Arsenal vs Leeds United

VAR was introduced by The IFAB in 2017 and was subsequently trialled for two seasons in several Emirates FA Cup ties – including the semi-finals and finals – before being introduced by the Premier League for the 2019-20 season.

The use of VAR is only permitted where the match/competition organiser has fulfilled all the VAR protocol and implementation requirements (as set out in the VAR Handbook) and has received written permission from The IFAB and FIFA. Only Premier League grounds are currently licenced to use the VAR technology in the third, fourth and fifth rounds of this season's Emirates FA Cup. However, every match from the quarter-final stage onwards will be licenced to use VAR.

The referee may be assisted by a video assistant referee only in the event of a 'clear and obvious error' or 'serious missed incident' in relation to:

  • goal/no goal
  • penalty/no penalty
  • direct red card (not second caution)
  • mistaken identity when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team

The assistance from the video assistant referee will relate to using replay(s) of the incident. The referee will make the final decision which may be based solely on the information from the VAR and/or the referee reviewing the replay footage directly ('on-field review').

Except for a 'serious missed incident' the referee (and where relevant other 'on-field', match officials) must always make a decision (including a decision not to penalise a potential offence); this decision does not change unless it is a 'clear and obvious error'.

If play has stopped and restarted, the referee may only undertake a 'review' – and take the appropriate disciplinary sanction – for mistaken identity or for a potential sending off offence relating to violent conduct, spitting, biting or extremely offensive, insulting and/or abusive gesture(s).

To see which officials – including VARs, where applicable – have been allocated to each Emirates FA Cup third round tie, click here.

By Jim Lucas