VAR a ‘fair way away’ from being used in Football League games

• Chief executive says full implementation unlikely soon
• Shaun Harvey: ‘We don’t have the TV cameras in place’

After the introduction of VAR was postponed by the Premier League, the chief executive of the EFL has said video technology is a “fair way away” from being used at Football League matches.

The video technology deployed during the World Cup was not taken up by the Premier League next season in favour of another 12 months of extended trials. Those will include matches in the Carabao Cup, and possibly Checkatrade Trophy, both competitions run by the EFL. But the chief executive, Shaun Harvey, confirmed that full implementation among his clubs remains unlikely in the short term.

“I think everyone is watching on with intrigue,” Harvey said. “I think it’s telling that the Premier League aren’t going to have it fully operational this season. I think it had its challenges at the World Cup.

“We’ll use it in the Carabao Cup and our clubs will play with it in those competitions. But I think it’s a fair way away from coming into our league games, predominantly because we don’t have the TV cameras in place that are standard fare at Premier League clubs. [Another] concern is around match officials and the staffing off it. We need our best officials out on the field on a Saturday.”

Harvey was speaking at the launch of the Checkatrade Trophy, whose final will be played at Wembley. “Potentially we could use [VAR] in the Checkatrade final,” he said. “It might be a step too far but we’re all about opportunities for match officials.”

With an Arsenal under-21 side competing in the Checkatrade Trophy for the first time, Harvey said there had also been talks with Liverpool and Manchester United over making their bows in future years.

“We’ve had really good conversations with Liverpool and Manchester United, arguably the two biggest clubs not involved,” he said. “We remain hopeful that they may join in the future, because they definitely see the merits of it.”


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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