Video technology could make its English football debut in next season’s EFL Cup after Shaun Harvey confirmed he was looking at bringing it in from the first round.
The EFL chief executive revealed the governing body would discuss stealing a march on the Football Association, which announced earlier this month that it would stage its own live trials in the FA Cup from the third round onwards.
The FA had considered using the Community Shield as a test event but ruled that out as too early.
Speaking after two successful interventions by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Tuesday night’s friendly between France and Spain – which followed a wrongly disallowed goal for Southampton in their EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester United – Harvey was less cautious.
Insisting the EFL Cup could “absolutely” be a guinea pig as early as August, he said: “Theoretically, it could happen from the first round of the EFL Cup, which would be a team no higher than the Championship down to League Two.”
“We’ve got to see how far technology moves, what the appetite is for testing inside the English game, and you can be assured we’ll play a full part.”
Harvey, who said a final decision on using VAR in the cup was likely to be made at May’s EFL board meeting, ruled out league matches taking part in the trial.
Pointing out the Championship was only now poised to introduce goal-line technology, he said at the SportsPro Live conference at Wembley: “For it to start in the EFL would be exceptionally difficult when you consider that a lot of our games are covered by two cameras at most.
“It just wouldn’t be possible to achieve the accuracy that you need in that type of set up.”
As exclusively revealed by Telegraph Sport last year, secret non-live VAR trials are being conducted during Premier League matches this season in what senior refereeing figures initially believed could leave to live experiments next term.
Top-flight bosses quickly ruled that out, preferring other countries and competitions to take the lead ironing out any flaws in the system during what is a two-year testing period.