VAR system to make African debut in CAF Super Cup


File: FIFA President Gianni Infantino delivers a speech during the 40th CAF (Confederation of African Football) ordinary general assembly on February 2, 2018 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.

CASABLANCA - The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be used for the first time in an African competitive game during the CAF Super Cup clash between Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) and TP Mazembe (DR Congo) on Saturday at the Complexe Mohamed V in Casablanca.

The green light has been given by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and FIFA for the competitive trial in the one-off match featuring the winner of the CAF Champions League 2017 against the holder of the CAF Confederation Cup 2017.

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This follows impressive results from a series of mock-up and offline sessions during the recent African Nations Championship Morocco 2018 under the supervision of FIFA experts. It was deployed in matches in Casablanca, Marrakech and Tangiers.

“It is a historic moment for African football. I’m proud that Africa has taken the initiative to embrace the latest technology towards the development of football and I’m positive the impact will be felt at all levels of the game,” said CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy.

During CHAN, the selected match officials underwent vigorous training sessions, theoretical and practical, to acquaint themselves with the technology that has been described as a game-changer for decision-making in football.

“Our motto for the VAR is to minimise interference and maximise benefits. Following the successes during the offline sessions at CHAN, I’m optimistic that we are ready to use VAR in major CAF competitions.

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"Africa cannot always be left out on the usage of technology in football and I’m impressed by the support from the various stakeholders to make it happen.

“The good news is that African referees, who are familiar with the VAR following their participation at FIFA tournaments, will be in charge during the Super Cup,” CAF refereeing manager Eddy Maillet added.