VAR won’t be used in Championship play-off final
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Video assistant referees will not be used in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final despite an estimated £180million windfall for the winners.
Norwich City will be hoping they don’t need to go down the play-off route given they occupy top spot, seven points clear of third-placed Sheffield United.
But whoever ends up contesting final at Wembley on May 27 will do so without the use of goal-line technology.
The technology has been deployed on a trial basis in some Carabao Cup games but it was not in operation during Sunday’s Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley between Portsmouth and Sunderland.
Confirmation of the English Football League’s stance comes after another weekend of controversy related to refereeing errors, most notably when Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta equalised against Cardiff on Sunday despite being offside.
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Unfortunately for Cardiff, who went on to lose the game and are now five points from safety in the Premier League, assistant referee Eddie Smart’s view was blocked by corner-taker Willian, prompting a furious outburst afterwards from Bluebirds manager Neil Warnock.
Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony agreed with Warnock, tweeting his belief that the officials involved should be suspended until next season and adding “big showing why VAR is so important going forward”.
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There was also much discussion in the game about when and where video replays are being used this season following the FA Cup quarter-finals, which saw Swansea on the wrong end of two questionable decisions that led to Manchester City goals. The game was played without VAR despite the Liberty Stadium having the capability to do so.
The Premier League has already announced it will be using the system from next season, while the Football Association has said it will review its decision to only use it in the cup at current Premier League grounds at the end of this season’s tournament.
The EFL has consistently said it is not yet ready to roll out VAR for league competition, as it does not have enough referees with the required training to operate the system and not all of its 72 clubs have enough camera positions to make it work.