Is VAR used in the FA Cup? How the technology is applied in third round games

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The FA have been criticised for their inconsistent use of VAR in the FA Cup, but how will the technology be used in the current round?

The FA Cup third round has begun and teams across the country will be dreaming of making a little bit of magic.

Premier League and Championship sides have entered the comeptition alongside non-league and lower ranked EFL sides. VAR has proved to be a controversial topic since it was introduced years ago.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While people will be hoping to witness a few giant killings and cup upsets, questions remain over the FA Cup’s VAR use in the competition. Here’s what you need to know:

Is there VAR in the FA Cup?

VAR is used in the FA Cup, but not consistently.

Though, we will now see it used more progressively as the number of teams gets whittled down.

VAR is only used in the FA Cup where a Premier League club plays at home. That’s because the technology is already in place for those grounds, and the FA have decided not to install the technology for one-off games.

That means Championship clubs, and indeed any clubs below that level, don’t have VAR for their home games in the FA Cup.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Quarter-final changes

As of last season, The FA have licenced all ties to have VAR in place for quarter-finals ties.

That means VAR will be used in all of the last eight ties, even beyond the Premier League clubs.

The semi-finals and final were already covered anyway, with Wembley Stadium already permanently licenced for VAR use.

The rulebook

The official FA Cup rulebook has this to say about VAR: “The Association reserves the right to select any match in the Competition Proper, at its absolute discretion, in which VARs will be used.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This means that the Referee in such matches can make decisions based on information provided by the VARs in accordance with the relevant protocol of the IFAB.

“Guidance regarding the use of VARs will be provided by The Association to the relevant Clubs at the appropriate time.”


The FA have been criticised for the partial use of VAR, with obvious questions of fairness when not all of the games are being officiated in the same way.

The FA’s response is: “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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“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.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.