Use of VAR can't only be for rich

The writer believes that sense VAR has a place in the South African game, especially in light of recent contentious decisions in PSL matches that VAR could have clarified.
The writer believes that sense VAR has a place in the South African game, especially in light of recent contentious decisions in PSL matches that VAR could have clarified.
Image: Athena Pictures / Getty Images

Whether we like it not, the video assistant referee (VAR) is a necessity for the local game.

It goes without saying that there are those who are for VAR and those who are against it because they feel it clashes with the emotional element of the game. It's sad to see a player celebrate wildly when his team scores a goal, only for VAR to rule out the goal.

But Sowetan feels that a game of football should be won fairly.

In that sense, VAR has a place in the game.

At the moment, many football fans are up in arms because AmaZulu's two goals in their 2-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs were deemed offside by the linesman, while replays show that those goals should have been allowed.

Conspiracy theorists have suggested that the linesman, Mervin van Wyk, is a Chiefs fan, having allegedly been pictured in Chiefs colours in some of his social media posts, and he was therefore not going to allow his team to concede against Usuthu.

VAR has had its teething problems but it has proven effective in most cases.

The desirable outcome is that a match should be fair from the start to the end.

It's believed that VAR would be difficult to implement in Africa for a number of reasons, especially because of the costs associated with it.

Brazilian clubs refused to use it because it was going to cost them about R93m a season.

If that's the case, that's simply too expensive for Africa, whose clubs do not have the financial resources.

But the reality is that world football-governing body Fifa has introduced it and it doesn't make sense that only some parts of the world (specifically Europe) can afford it and the rest are unable to.

It's a difficult situation for everybody because every wrong decision by the match officials would lead to many questions that would go unanswered or, even worse, conspiracy theories would abound.

VAR may not be perfect but Sowetan reiterates that it will rid the local game of many of its refereeing issues that have persisted season in and season out.

We are saying that it's only fair that Fifa and the respective local football authorities in Africa come together to help find a solution to the problem.

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