Major decision made ahead of West Brom v Wolves FA Cup clash

West Brom and Wolves have both learned news of a big decision taken ahead of their FA Cup clash.
No VAR will be in use at The Hawthorn's for West Brom v Wolves. (Image: Getty Images)No VAR will be in use at The Hawthorn's for West Brom v Wolves. (Image: Getty Images)
No VAR will be in use at The Hawthorn's for West Brom v Wolves. (Image: Getty Images)

VAR will not be in use for the Black Country Derby between West Brom and Wolves in the FA Cup this Sunday, it has been suggested.

The two sides meet on Sunday, January 28, with an early kick-off time of 11.45 am. It's the first meeting between the Midlands pair since May 2021, and is the first match played between the two sides with spectators since February 12, 2012.

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Bragging rights are on the line and the stakes have never been higher, but there will be no use of a video assistant referee in the fixture. Television cameras will be at West Brom with ITV1 broadcasting the match. Despite the various camera angles that will be on offer, they will only be in use for the TV coverage and any refereeing decisions will have to come from those on the pitch who will react to incidents in real time.

VAR is only licenced for clubs who are currently in the Premier League. Top-flight teams in the FA Cup will have it in use but should they be taken to a replay then it will not be used. West Brom were in the Premier League as recently as 2021 and VAR has been previously used at the venue but because of their Championship status, it will not be in effect.

The FA have not applied to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for full use across the competition, because it would be hard to install at some EFL and non-league grounds. In a statement last year, the FA said: "Video assistant referees provide match officials with additional support and should be utilised wherever possible. However, only Premier League stadiums are currently licensed to use VAR due to the infrastructure, workforce and costs that are required.”

According to Talking Wolves, Thomas Bramall has been appointed as the referee to oversee the fixture and he will only have his linesman and fourth official to support him, with no one from Stockley Park providing help as video assistant. It is a major decision to make given that a place in the fifth round is at stake.

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Bramall's last Wolves match was the 3-0 win last December whilst you have to go back to November 2022 for his last Baggies game in which they won 1-0 against QPR. He has overseen 17 games this season and has given out 73 yellow cards and one red card.

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