Fleetwood Town’s Emirates FA Cup 3rd round replay against Leicester City will be the third competitive match ever in English football to use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology.
With access to between 12 and 15 camera angles and four cameras in each goal, the VAR will be able to tell the on-pitch referee about any discrepancies.
The new system is only available at current Premier League stadia because it requires a connection to the Premier League’s west London studio, where the VAR is based.
The use of the technology is restricted to the awarding of a goal or penalty, a straight red card decision or a case of mistaken identity.
It will not be used for the awarding of a second yellow card, nor will the on-pitch referee be allowed to not make a decision and look at the video footage instead.
There are three different ways the officials can use the VAR technology.
1. The on-pitch referee can discuss a decision with the VAR with the earpiece and, if there are no errors, the match can continue.
2. If there is a suspected error, a video review process is engaged, shown by the on-pitch referee drawing a rectangle in the air with his hands.
The VAR can then make a decision if an error is easily spotted, for example, if a player has scored from a clearly offside position. In these instances, there is no need for the on-pitch referee to look at any footage.
3. If a decision is marginal, the VAR can tell the on-pitch referee to watch the footage back on the pitch side screen and conduct a review.
The decision is then communicated and the match will continue.
Fans in the stadium won’t see the images but viewers at home will see all the camera angles used by officials.