FA takes lead on football reforms

The International Football Association Board has proposed a raft of new measures and the FA Cup will be one of the testing grounds.

Manchester United was crowned last year's FA Cup champion.   -  Getty Images

Video technology is set to be used to assist referees with key decisions during next season's FA Cup, while teams in the quarterfinal of this season's competition are expected be allowed a fourth substitution during extra time.

The innovations are among a host of exploratory measures that were announced at the annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) at Wembley on Friday.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino attended the summit of football's global law-making body and Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn confirmed English football is keen to take a lead in its flagship cup competition.

"I'm very happy that there is testing across the world that we can learn from so that when we apply it in English competitions we know that it is going to work," he said during a media conference.

"I'm very happy for other people to do the testing to get the wrinkles out of the way and I feel very confident given the preparation that is going on now. The PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Limited] are working hard at it.

"I would expect to see video assistant referees from the third round of the FA Cup for the coming season."

Infantino is keen for video assistant referees (VARs) to be used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with this year's Confederations Cup slated as one of the trial events.

"That is our aim," he said. "I'm very confident. The signs are encouraging. The little hiccups we have seen are to do with the training of the referees, but they will be able to take decisions much faster when they use it more often.

"We will use it for sure in the Confederations Cup, the Under-20 World Cup and the Club World Cup. VAR is positive because it will allow the right decision to be taken in a game-changing circumstance."

Other reforms on the agenda were the use of sin-bins, ending yellow cards for players who give away penalties and altering the orders of penalty taking in shootouts in order to check an apparent advantage for the team taking first.

More immediately, the FA wants to allow a fourth substitution in next weekend's FA Cup quarterfinal if any of the matches go to extra time.

"With the cup now adopting a straight knockout format from the quarter-finals onwards, the introduction of a fourth substitute in extra time will bring extra intrigue and interest," Glenn added.

"Also, from a technical point of view, it will be interesting to see how managers use the chance to make an additional substitution in such high-profile games and the impact it has on the final result."

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