We need VAR to eliminate ref mistakes

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is regarded as one of the best leagues in Africa and it is imperative that they also do what the best in the world do.

It is therefore time for our league to consider introducing the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

By so doing, we will minimise the errors that are committed by the match officials week-in and week-out.

There’s a lot at stake in the elite league.

Coaches end up swelling the ranks of the unemployed because of the poor calls by match officials. Clubs miss out on silverware because the referees get it wrong.

Granted, VAR will not solve all our problems but it will minimise the errors which often lead to the firing of coaches and loss of trophies.

On Monday, the assistant referee flagged Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for offside against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the English Premier League.

Yet that decision was reviewed and the verdict from the VAR confirmed that it was a legitimate goal.

Arsenal would have lost two points were VAR not in use in the English Premier League. But fortunately it is active in England.

Tottenham Hotspur were also saved by the VAR in the second game of the season against Manchester City.

Gabriel Jesus netted at the death but there was a handball prior to the goal and VAR spotted it and the goal did not stand. No doubt City fans cursed the introduction of this technology, but there can be no denying it is a fair way to adjudicate contentious incidents in the game.

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VAR has become a permanent fixture in European football, most notably the English Premier League. Photo: David Klein/Reuters

The game between Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu was the talk of the town last week at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi.

Headlines, though, were not about Chiefs sitting at the summit of the table but were dominated by controversy. Bongi Ntuli and Ovidy Karuru both found the back of the net but were judged to have been in an offside position when they received possession of the ball before scoring.

The masses were divided as some felt that those were two legitimate goals and others felt that the referee made the correct calls. It was two close calls. The first goal appeared to be spot on while second one was questionable.

Baroka FC were also victims to this recently as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Amakhosi. Lazarus Nkambole was offside when Khama Billiat spotted him. The Zambian was denied by Elvis Chipezeze but the ball rebounded into the path of Lebogang Manyama who slotted into an empty net.

Nkambole should have been flagged for offside but the match officials missed it. Baroka lost three points. VAR would have spotted that.

Our product is growing each and every day.

This past weekend we witnessed a six goal thriller between Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City at Orlando Stadium.

So, let us not allow the referees decisions to spoil the growth of the PSL. Obviously match officials are human beings and they will make errors, which is understandable, but we have means that can help us avoid mistakes. Why not use it? They are doing it in England, Spain, Italy and Germany. As one of the best around, we must also follow suit.


The Mercury

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