19 February 2018 12:53
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be used for the first time in an African competitive game during the Total CAF Super Cup 2018 between Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) and TP Mazembe (DR Congo) on Saturday, 24 February 2018 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 Total CAF Champions League 2017 against the holder of the Total CAF Confederation Cup 2017.
This follows impressive results from series of mock-up and offline sessions during the recent Total 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 latest technology towards the development of football. This is a huge step for African football and I’m positive the impact will be felt at all levels of the game,” said CAF General Secretary Amr Fahmy.
During the CHAN, the selected match officials underwent vigorous training sessions, theoretical and practically, to acquaint themselves with the technology that has been described as a game changer as far as decision making in football is concerned.
“Our motto for the VAR is to minimize interference and maximize benefit. Following the successes during the offline sessions at the CHAN, I’m optimistic that we are ready to use VAR in major CAF competitions. African 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 Total CAF Super Cup 2018,” CAF Refereeing Manager Eddy Maillet noted.
As part of the build up towards the historic day, an open day for media has been scheduled for Thursday, 22 February 2018 at the Complexe Mohamed V in Casablanca followed by a presentation to the two participating clubs, Wydad Athletic Club and TP Mazembe, 24-hours later.
It will be recalled that the CAF Referees’ Committee at its meeting on 27 November 2018 in Cairo, Egypt, okayed the usage of the latest technology in competitions.
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