VAR is coming to Anfield – video assistant referee for LFC FA Cup clash

Saturday 27th January 2018 will mark the first ever use of VAR technology at Anfield stadium.

Liverpool's televised fixture against West Brom in the 4th Round of the FA Cup will benefit from the ongoing testing and integration of video refereeing into football in England.

VAR has already been used in the 3rd round, notably when Leicester's Kelechi Iheanacho's became the first goalscorer to benefit from the system.

His initial goal was ruled out - flagged offside by the assistant.  But 67 seconds later after the referee sent the decision for review it was correctly awarded.

And in last night's game between Chelsea and Norwich the pendulum swung the other way when Antonio Conte seemed angry that a decision had NOT been sent to VAR.  The referee believed Willian had taken an easy tumble after a foul in the area and had actually been in contact with the video assistant who confirmed his decisions to him on at least 4 occasions.

There have been four fixtures so far in England that have used VAR.  A VAR review is to be primarily used after a stoppage in the game and can be used for situations including:

  • Goals
  • Penalties
  • Straight red cards
  • Mistaken identity

The referee also has the option to watch a replay at the side of the pitch - but this hasn't proved necessary in any of the fixtures so far.

A major difficulty at present appears to be that unlike in Rugby it isn't clear when the referee is consulting with the video assistant, and there are no in game replays for supporters at football stadiums surrounding key decisions.

Anfield stadium meets the requirements to use VAR - were a minimum of 12 cameras must be operational - with 4 in each goal.

It will be used in every round of this seasons FA Cup, and some replays, dependent on which Premier League clubs are involved in the fixtures.

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