The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the implementation of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) at the African Nations Championship (CHAN), which will be hosed by Morocco between 13 January and 4 February 2018.
This will be the first time that VAR is used in a CAF competition, and it will debut from the quarter-finals stage of the tournament.
According to CAF’s official website, the usage of the technology was agreed during a CAF’s Referee’s Committee meeting in Egypt on Monday.
Referees with training in VAR
For CHAN 2018, African referees shortlisted for the FIFA World Cup 2018 and with previous training in VAR will be called upon.
Along with this decision and amid recent controversies, CAF’s Member Associations will be forced to have a functioning Refereeing Department.
“Today we are going to make some very important decisions that will be pivotal for the future of refereeing in Africa. We will launch major projects to meet the challenges ahead. The world expects a lot from the new CAF and particularly from this reconstituted Referees Committee to make significant changes to meet the expectations of our clubs and Member Associations to silence the critics of refereeing in Africa and be at par with other Confederations,” said Suleiman Waberi, chairman of the CAF’s Referee’s Committee.
Less controversy but…
The first international competition where VAS was used was the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.
And for the 2018 World Cup, FIFA, the football’s world governing body, is willing to use the technology at next year’s World Cup finals.
Speaking to the press, Real Madrid’s head coach, Zinedine Zidane, said that VAR could prevent controversies but it will also take away the spontaneity of the sport.
'We will gain something from one side but inevitably lose something else from the other. It is reliable and certain. And, of course, as we turn to that there will be less controversy, which is the ultimate objective. But, on the other hand, I'm a little bit ... well, it will take away the spontaneity of what we love, but we have no other choice,' said Zidane.