Fans may be pleased to hear that the video assistant referee (VAR) will not be used across the 2023-24 Carabao Cup semi-finals.
The controversial technology continues to dominate headlines and footballing discourse on an almost daily basis, with Newcastle’s recent FA Cup third-round win over Sunderland drawing praise for the challenges permitted and flow of play without VAR.
Middlesbrough host Chelsea in their semi-final first leg on Tuesday, 9 January before Fulham visit Liverpool the following day.
The second legs then take place two weeks after, as all four clubs attempt to claim the trophy Manchester United won last year.
Why is there no VAR in the Carabao Cup semi-finals?
As VAR is not in use in the Championship, Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium does not have the necessary technology installed ahead of Chelsea’s visit.
With that being the case in every previous round, as VAR is not available at one of the four grounds, it will not be used across any of the games.
An EFL statement said: “Given the system is not installed at one of the participating semi-finalist Clubs and to maintain fairness and consistency, VAR technology will not be used in the Carabao Cup semi-final stage this season.
“This is in line with previous rounds of this season’s competition when at some grounds, but not all, VAR has been available.”
The lack of VAR triggered controversy in Chelsea’s penalty shootout win over Newcastle in the quarter-finals, as Moises Caicedo was only shown a yellow card for a high tackle within the first two minutes.
Many fans pointed out that similar challenges had resulted in red cards in recent Premier League games where VAR had been in use.
Will there be VAR in the Carabao Cup final?
The Carabao Cup final takes place on Sunday, 25 February.
As Wembley already has the technology in place, the final will have VAR available throughout, the first round of this season’s competition in which that has been the case.
An EFL statement said: “VAR is installed at Wembley Stadium and as per our previous commitment VAR will be used in February’s final.”