EFL Clubs Vote to Scrap Carabao Cup Extra Time & Seedings From the 2018/19 Season Onwards

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The decision to scrap extra time is one of several key changes to the Carabao Cup that have been agreed by EFL clubs at their 2018 Summer Conference.

The EFL claims their rationale is related to complaints of player fatigue, which will be reduced if players are not forced to play an additional 30 minutes in games that are level after normal time.

With 85% of matches resolved within 90 minutes anyway, it was felt that this change would provide a balance between preserving fitness and maintaining drama without compromising the integrity or quality of the competition.

This means that any tie which is level after 90 minutes will go straight to penalties. Another of the changes voted upon was the decision to scrap the ABBA penalty order, which was trialled in the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy during the 2017/18 season.

This format meant that clubs would alternate between who goes first in each round of penalties, ostensibly cancelling out any advantage that teams might gain from going first or second. But EFL clubs voted to return to the old ABAB format.

Furthermore, clubs voted to scrap the seeding system which keeps bigger clubs apart in the first two rounds of the competition. Teams will now be drawn against any opponent, although the first round of the competition will still be divided into north and south regional pots.

Finally, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used at any Carabao Cup match held at a Premier League ground next season.

VAR was tested in the 2017/18 FA Cup and will be in place for the World Cup.

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