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FA and Carabao Cups to trial Video Assistant Referee

Monday's FA Cup tie between Brighton and Crystal Palace to mark VAR debut

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology is undergoing trials in both the FA and Carabao Cups this week.

Brighton’s third round FA Cup tie with Crystal Palace on Monday will mark England’s first ever VAR trial in competitive football. 

The experiment will quickly be followed up with a second outing in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Chelsea and Arsenal, which takes place on Wednesday.

The move follows similar trials in the MLS, Bundesliga, Serie A and FIFA youth tournaments.

Video evidence can only be used to decide whether a goal should stand, whether a player deserves a straight red card, whether a penalty should be awarded and in cases of mistaken identity.

The on-field referee will have the final say and can override a VAR’s recommendation after reviewing footage himself.

Referees’ chief Mike Riley said the technology will never be “100% perfect”.

“It’s going to take us time,” he said. “You’re actually asking a generation of referees to relearn or learn new processes and skills.

“It will never be 100% because it’s so subjective on certain things and we’re asking the clear and obvious question.

“The message to players and supporters is clear: Minimum interference, maximum benefit.

“Our research has indicated four per cent of on-field decisions are incorrect, we hope VAR can get that down to two per cent.”