It was confirmed in the summer that Video Assistant Referees (VAR) was to feature at selected fixtures throughout this season’s League Cup, and today the EFL confirmed that four of next week’s Round Two fixtures will feature the technology.
Yesterday evening, some Aston Villa fans were quickly wishing that VAR was being used in the Brentford game at Villa Park, to administer justice for the stamp on John McGinn, but unfortunately they’ll have to wait a little longer to see it in action for a Villa game.
The trial is only happening at Premier League grounds, so obviously Villa’s League Cup 2nd round trip to Burton never had a chance of being chosen. Progress into the third round could obviously give Villa a real chance to experience the live trial of it, if they draw a Premier League club.
The Four Games chosen were as follows:
|Tuesday 28 August||Brighton and Hove Albion v Southampton||Referee: Andre Marriner
VAR: Stuart Attwell
|Tuesday 28 August||Fulham v Exeter City||Referee: Kevin Friend
VAR: Michael Oliver
|Tuesday 28 August||Leicester City v Fleetwood Town||Referee: Lee Mason
VAR: Jon Moss
|Wednesday 29 August||Everton v Rotherham United||Referee: Graham Scott
VAR: Kevin Friend
For the three matches on Tuesday 28 August it will be the first time that the technology will feature in multiple matches at the same time in this country.
How Will It Work?
Fans in the stadium will be kept abreast of in-game developments with the same notification process put in place for supporters as was used in the recent Community Shield as the video officials, based remotely at Stockley Park, assist the referee in ONLY four match changing situations:
- Penalty/no penalty decisions
- Direct red cards shown or not shown (second yellow cards are not able to be reviewed)
- Mistaken identity
The EFL says, ‘the emphasis of the experiment is to focus on clear and obvious errors’.
It is hoped that this emphasis will minimise any interference with the flow of the game and maximise the advantages of reviewing the video replays.
The EFL also stresses:
‘Given the subjective nature of football and a desire to maintain the flow and spectacle of the game, the system is not intended to achieve 100% accuracy in every decision.’
Process – Informing Fans
The original decision of the referee on the pitch can only be changed if a video review shows a clear and obvious error.
The club will be responsible for keeping fans at the stadium informed, with messages bearing the following information used as appropriate on screens present at each selected fixture.
- VAR Check in Progress
- VAR Check In Progress – Checking Goal
- VAR Check In Progress – Checking Penalty
- VAR Check In Progress – Checking Red Card
- VAR Check In Progress – Checking Mistaken Identity
- VAR Check Complete
- VAR Check Complete – Original Decision Overturned
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