Six teams from the English Football League will have their Emirates FA Cup 3rd Round matches broadcast live on TV, according to an exclusive report by The Telegraph.
The report states that last season’s Sky Bet Championship winners Brighton & Hove Albion will play the first competitive match in England where video replays can be used to overturn refereeing decisions, with the Seagulls hosting Crystal Palace on Saturday 6th January.
TV Coverage of the FA Cup Third Round begins on Friday 5th January with the Merseyside derby, however this was deemed too high-profile a fixture to conduct English football’s first live Video Assistant Referees test.
The Saturday lunchtime fixture will feature Sky Bet League One side Fleetwood Town or non-league Hereford hosting Leicester City on the BBC.
BT Sport’s coverage of the Third Round begins at tea-time on Saturday, with Sky Bet Championship side Norwich City hosting Chelsea, while the Sunday fixtures will see Sky Bet League One side Shrewsbury Town host West Ham United (BBC) and Sky Bet Championship side Nottingham Forest host current holders Arsenal (BT). Leeds’ visit to Newport County’s Rodney Parade will be broadcast on Sunday afternoon on BBC One Wales.
The FA announced in March that they intended to use VARs in this season’s Emirates FA Cup campaign from the Third Round onwards.
The report in The Telegraph also says that “trials look set to be limited to televised games at Premier League grounds, which have the infrastructure necessary for the technology to be properly implemented.” So, while VARs are slowly coming into English football, it may be a while before they are embedded into the televised English Football League matches and slightly longer before every game in England’s top four divisions is using the VAR systems.