Why is VAR not being used in the Carabao Cup semi-finals? | Football

VAR is only available in Premier League stadiums (Picture: Getty)

Following the FA Cup third-round action over the weekend, attention will now turn to England’s other cup competition, with the first legs of the Carabao Cup semi-finals taking place in midweek.

Liverpool take on Fulham in an all Premier League clash, while Chelsea face Championship side Middlesbrough.

Jurgen Klopp’s side won the competition most recently in 2022, beating Chelsea on penalties following a 0-0 draw after extra-time.

Fulham reached this stage of the competition for the first time in the club’s history after beating Everton on penalties in the quarter-finals.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, eased past League One side Port Vale to reach the final four for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign, when they went on to win the competition.

The first legs of the semi-finals are due to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week but there will be one major change to the games as VAR is not going to feature in either tie.

This is due to the fact that Championship club Middlesbrough don’t have the technology at their stadium.

Djordje Petrovic of Chelsea celebrates with team mates after his save of Matt Ritchie's shoot out spot kick secures Chelsea's win during the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea reached the semi-finals after a penalty shootout win over Newcastle (Picture: Getty)

This weekend in the FA Cup, VAR was used but only in games held at Premier League grounds due to a lack of technology in other stadiums.

However, the Carabao Cup – run by the EFL rather than the FA – have decided to remove the technology entirely for the semi-finals, although it will return for the final on February 25.

In a statement sent to The Telegraph, the EFL said: ‘There will be no VAR used in the semi-finals because it was not possible for the technology to be used at Middlesbrough.

‘It was decided it was fairer to not use it in any of the four semi-final games as a result.

‘The FA took a different approach but we felt this was the way to go. If it couldn’t be used in one of the games it won’t be used in any of the four semi-final legs.

‘However, VAR will be used for the final regardless of who is playing in it as the technology is already installed at Wembley.’


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