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Monday, May 20, 2024

NKARENG MATSHE | Despite high costs, VAR's implementation in SA a priority

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The reality is, referees’ decisions have far-reaching ramifications which at times can affect collective livelihoods. A questionable penalty, such as the one which won Sundowns the match against Cape Town Spurs, leading to Middendorp’s outburst, should easily be referred to VAR to establish certainty.

We know PSL and Safa authorities have haggled over the costs associated with implementing VAR in domestic football, but to circumvent this, it can be done in phases. Let’s start with cup finals, for instance. CAF did it in phases for the Champions League, bringing it in for the knockout stage three years ago, and it proved pivotal.

In fact, CAF got rave reviews for its exemplary usage of VAR at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in January. Almost all decisions reviewed by the system at the Nations Cup brought about consensus, something unheard of elsewhere.

The absence of VAR in domestic football has obviously left a vacuum which is now filled with assumptions and unnecessary hyperbole as teams look for excuses, as highlighted by Ebrahim. Take the noise made by Ramovic, of TS Galaxy, who claimed his team had had a referee appointed to the club’s four matches in succession, only to find he was mistaken.

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