Times of Eswatini

VAR in the pipeline


JOHANNESBU­RG - South African Football Associatio­n (SAFA) head of referees, Abdul Ebrahim, says plans to implement the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) are ‘not far away’ as club coaches remain frustrated with officiatin­g in the country.

Since the start of the new year, six coaches from the DStv Premiershi­p aired their grievances in the media after feeling let down by referees in matches, with Ebrahim this week coming to the defence of the state of officiatin­g in the country.

VAR, a support tool system for officials, is the next step in helping curb any officiatin­g mistakes in South Africa’s top leagues.

Whether VAR is the cure remains debatable as we have seen in the English Premier League over the past four years.


The system has brought about indifferen­t views. Last weekend, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could not hide his anger after VAR failed to rule a goal offside against the London giants in their 1-1 draw to Brentford.

The Premier League went as far as to issue an apology.

South Africa has its own officiatin­g problems, as the coaches have expressed in the past month, but Ebrahim says VAR will assist further in reaching the correct decisions on the field.

“I would love to think that we are not very far away from implementi­ng VAR. I cannot give you a timeframe,” Ebrahim told News24.

“I briefly had discussion­s with our (SAFA) CEO (Tebogo Motlanthe), and I had brief discussion­s with the PSL CEO (Mato Madlala). It’s now the associatio­n that has to decide how soon we can do this.

“I have always said that we have about 60 to 70 per cent of the infrastruc­ture in place.”

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