SAFA Confirms Introduction of VAR in PSL, Aiming to Boost Fairness in South African Football

SAFA Confirms Introduction of VAR in PSL, Aiming to Boost Fairness in South African Football

Victor Gomes, Chairperson of the National Referees Committee of the South African Football Association (SAFA), has confirmed that the divisive Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be introduced in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

Positive Impact of VAR

Gomes is confident that the introduction of VAR will be beneficial for South African football. He believes that the system will enhance the quality and fairness of the game.

VAR Implementation Supported

Gomes participated in a Joint Liaison Committee meeting between SAFA and the PSL, where VAR was a major topic of discussion. Significant progress has been made towards its implementation.

Budget Allocation

According to Gomes, the remaining steps primarily involve budget allocation. “We had a meeting recently, and I know it’s on the way now. We are progressing very fast. We’re sitting for some budgetary cost in the next two weeks, and that’s how far we are,” Gomes stated.

Training Concerns

Concerns have been raised about South Africa’s readiness for VAR, given the limited number of match officials trained in its use. Gomes acknowledges the need for extensive preparation to ensure successful implementation.

Benefits of Early Implementation

Gomes believes that the sooner the PSL adopts VAR, the better it will be for the sport. He stresses the importance of proper training and gradual introduction to ensure trust in the system.

VAR: The Future of Football

Gomes emphasized that VAR is an integral part of modern football and cannot be separated from the game. “VAR is the future of football. It will help the PSL and any other league in the world. VAR is here to stay,” he stated.

Preparedness and Training

While acknowledging that South Africa is not yet fully ready for VAR, Gomes emphasized the importance of a well-planned introduction. “We are ready to start training. We don’t want to rush something and get it wrong. We want to bring it in and do it correctly so that everyone can trust it,” he added.

Previous Attempts to Implement VAR

Dr. Irvin Khoza disclosed that the organization had been prepared to introduce VAR about two years ago, but SAFA requested additional time for preparation. Although there were plans to test VAR in a prior cup final, the lack of trained officials hindered its implementation.

Support from PSL

Khoza expressed the PSL’s support for the move and mentioned that other technologies, such as goal-line technology, could be introduced alongside VAR to rule on contentious goals.

Controversy and Proliferation of VAR

Despite the controversies surrounding VAR in top leagues due to its application, the system continues to proliferate and gain acceptance worldwide. The PSL’s move to adopt VAR reflects a commitment to improving the quality of officiating in South African football.