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Is VAR used in the FA Cup? Well, kind of... The video replay rules, explained

Inside the VAR hub at Stockley Park
(Image credit: PA)

The use of VAR has become a controversial talking point in the Premier League in recent years, with many fans, players and managers sceptical of its application.

However, it has been used in the FA Cup since 2018, which was the first competition in England to implement it.

Fans may notice that it isn't used in every game, though...

Why does VAR only get used in some FA Cup games?

VAR is only used at games held at Premier League grounds or Wembley – meaning Premier League teams playing away at lower league opposition will not have their match overseen by a video referee. 

That's because Premier League grounds already have the infrastructure to implement VAR, as they can follow the VAR protocol set out by IFAB, the international body that oversees football's rules.

This is why fourth round fixtures such as Kidderminster Harriers vs West Ham do not have VAR.

"The Association reserves the right to select any match in the Competition Proper, at its absolute discretion, in which VARs will be used," according to the FA's rulebook.

"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."

Which FA Cup fourth round games is VAR being used in?

The following matches will have VAR in the FA Cup fourth round:

Manchester United vs Middlesbrough

Chelsea vs Plymouth

Man City vs Fulham

Wolves vs Norwich

Everton vs Brentford

Southampton vs Coventry

Crystal Palace vs Hartlepool

Tottenham vs Brighton

Liverpool vs Cardiff

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