Safa Referees Committee say VAR will be rolled out in Cup games

Johannesburg – Safa Referees Committee Chairman Victor Gomes has suggested that the video assistant referee will be gradually introduced to South African football, starting with Cup games.

VAR has been actively used in major international leagues and tournaments now for several years with South Africa yet to follow suit.

However, amid the state of refereeing in the PSL coming under intense scrutiny, many have suggested that it should be introduced sooner rather than later.

“We will introduce it in the final first in a cup game and take it to the semi-final, quarters and once everybody is working in harmony and we understand it, then we can say we really introduce it in the league because we must be consistent. We don’t want to introduce it tomorrow and see that we are not ready. Yesterday (Tuesday), I had two zoom meetings. We spoke to the producers of VAR to see how we can also get it,” said Gomes.

As things stand, no African country has fully implemented VAR in it’s football leagues. Morocco became the first African country to use VAR during a league match between IRT Tangiers and FUS Rabat in November 2019.

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It appears that costs may be the biggest factor behind the non-inclusion of VAR in SA football with PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza having previously indicated as such.

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“It’s a question of doing an audit about the infrastructure and if this VAR is going to be centrally controlled or decentralized. There was a discussion about it. Obviously in the next joint committee meeting because the issues with referees reside with SAFA but there’s a cost factor that foes with it which must be factored into this discussion,” said Khoza.


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