Is VAR in place for the 2023/24 Carabao Cup third round?

  • VAR first trialled in English football during 2018/19 Carabao Cup semi-finals
  • Technology used in Premier League since 2019/20
  • VAR only used in latter stages of this competition

VAR was first trialled in the Carabao Cup back in 2019
VAR was first trialled in the Carabao Cup back in 2019 / Visionhaus/GettyImages

It was in the Carabao Cup where English football enjoyed/endured its first taste of the video assistant referee (VAR).

Trialled at the backend of the 2018/19 iteration of the competition, the technology was eventually installed in the Premier League at the start of the following season.

It's been a bumpy ride since.

While many have already grown sick of VAR and the incompetence of those in control, the Carabao Cup offers some respite. We've already approached the third round of the current competition, of which Manchester City's trip to Newcastle on Wednesday night is the highlight.

We've grown accustomed to VAR having some sort of say in the biggest games, but that won't be the case this time around. Here's why...

Is VAR in place for the 2023/24 Carabao Cup third round?

VAR has been in operation in the Premier League since 2019/20, but EFL stadiums do not accomodate the technology.

As a result, it was decided that VAR, to ensure fair competition, will not be used in the opening rounds of the Carabao Cup as only Premier League venues have it. Therefore, VAR will not be in place for the upcoming third round ties - even those between a pair of Premier League clubs.

Jurgen Klopp questioned this logic after Liverpool were beaten by Manchester City in this competition last season, but the EFL are seemingly content with their current implementation of VAR in the Carabao Cup.

When will VAR be used in the 2023/24 Carabao Cup?

Paul Tierney
Paul Tierney checks the VAR monitor during last season's semi-final tie between Newcastle and Southampton / Visionhaus/GettyImages

VAR will once again be back in play during the latter stages of the competition. The technology will be used for the two-legged semi-finals as well as the final at Wembley.

Should a non-Premier League club progress into the last four, as Burton Albion, for example, did during the 2018/19 trials, VAR will be installed at the stadium in question for a one-off occasion. Burton trialled the technology in a League One encounter against Gillingham before they then hosted Manchster City in the Carabao Cup semi.