The Confederation of African Football (CAF), has approved the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR), for the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
CAF made the statement in Niamey, Niger Republic, on Sunday, following the conclusion of the 2019 U-20 African Cup of Nations tournament.
VAR is an assistant referee that reviews the decisions of the head referee based on video evidence. A referee’s decision can be altered if it is not consistent with VAR’s verdict after careful examinations.
In March 2018, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) wrote VARs into the Laws of the Game on a permanent basis. However, implementation was optional across local and international football competitions.
Also in March 2018, FIFA approved the use of VAR for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and the tournament became the first competition where VAR was implemented in full across all matches and venues.
There are four types of calls that can be reviewed by VAR during a game where the technology is implemented:
- Goals (will include verification if there was foul play from either side or an offside leading to the goal)
- Penalty decisions
- Direct red card decisions (second yellow cards are not reviewable)
- False awarding of red or yellow cards (mostly involves mistaken identity).
VAR was tested in Africa during the finals of the 2018 Total CAF Champions League between Egypt’s Al Ahly and Esperance of Tunisia. The technology was also used at the 2018 Total CAF Confederation Cup.
CAF is looking to implement the technology for the first time in the first ever 24-team AFCON tournament, scheduled to take place in Egypt, from Wednesday, June 19, 2019, through to Sunday, July 21, 2019.
Featured image source: Voice of Nigeria