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VAR helps Leicester advance

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Flickr/chelmsfordblue
Flickr/chelmsfordblue

LEICESTER (AFP) – Leicester made history as English football’s first beneficiaries of the Video Assistant Referee system after the replay technology was used to award their second goal in a 2-0 FA Cup win over Fleetwood on Tuesday.

When Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho ran onto a Riyad Mahrez pass to slot home in the 77th minute of the third round replay, his strike was initially ruled out for offside.

But after a short delay while the attack was being analysed by the VAR assistant Mike Jones, the decision was changed – replays showed Nigeria’s Iheanacho was just onside – and referee Jon Moss awarded a goal.

The VAR system was first used in England earlier this month for Brighton’s FA Cup third round tie against Crystal Palace and the League Cup semi-final first leg between Chelsea and Arsenal.

However, this was the first time it had actually been needed to reverse a decision.

“I didn’t know if I was onside or offside but I agree totally now that I was onside,” Iheanacho said.

“I was concentrating on the goal, I didn’t think if I was onside or offside but Riyad told me that I was onside.

“We just waited to see what the decision was.”

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy added: “This man got the goals and has shown that VAR does work.”

Former Manchester City youngster Iheanacho had already put Leicester ahead in the 43rd minute at the King Power Stadium, running onto Islam Slimani’s pass and firing home.

Leicester’s reward for a comfortable win against their third tier opponents is a trip to Peterborough, also of League One, in the fourth round.

VAR, which has already been used in other competitions around the world, can be called on to rule over goals, straight red cards, penalty decisions and cases of mistaken identity.

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