Manchester United’s 12-year Live FA Cup Run Comes To An End at 58 Games

Coming after a 58-match run going back to their third-round replay against Exeter City in 2005, Manchester United’s FA Cup tie against Derby County will not be televised live in the United Kingdom while the Football Association has confirmed the match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace will be the first to trial video assistant referees.

After criticism of the decision to provide live coverage of the 12-times winners’ third-round meeting with Reading last season, the joint broadcasters the BBC and BT Sport have instead opted to televise seven other ties – starting with the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton on Friday 5 January. That will kick off at 7.55pm on BBC One, with the same channel broadcasting the tie between Leicester City and Hereford – the lowest-ranked team still in the competition – or Fleetwood Town on Saturday 6 January at 12.45pm.

BT Sport’s first match will be Chelsea’s trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich City later that day at 5.30pm, with Nottingham Forest v Arsenal selected for the teatime slot on Sunday. BBC Wales will show Newport County’s fixture at home against Leeds United on the same day, while BBC One will have Joe Hart’s potential return to his former club Shrewsbury Town with West Ham United at 2pm.

The M23 derby is the final third-round fixture to have been chosen, with Brighton and Palace rounding off the action on Monday at 7.45pm at the Amex Stadium. Disorder caused by fans around the teams’ recent meeting at the Amex Stadium has  been described by Sussex police as a “return to the dark days of football.”

Manchester United’s 12-year Live FA Cup Run Comes To An End at 58 Games

Having announced plans to introduce the VAR system this year, the match will become the first competitive use of the technology in the UK as part of the International Football Association Board’s trial. The technology was first used in November at Wembley Stadium at England’s two senior men’s internationals against Germany and Brazil and it is intended that VARs will then be used for the remainder of the competition at a select number of fixtures.

“The FA has always been open to trialling new innovations and was heavily involved in the advancement of goal-line technology before it was introduced,” said Andy Ambler, director of professional game relations at the FA.

“The trialling of the VAR system in this season’s Emirates FA Cup from the third round is a continuation of that and further demonstrates that whilst being the most famous and historic domestic cup competition in the world it is also modern, progressive and innovative.”

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