Debates about VAR are surfacing in South Africa. This follows refereeing errors in various matches. Is it enough for VAR to be adopted?
VAR could soon be introduced in the South African league. This is the wish of the chairman of the Premier Soccer League (PSL). Irvin Khoza wants to see an end to offside and goal-line disputes. However, the costs of such an undertaking will have to be taken into account.
"There will be a discussion about this at the next joint committee meeting, because the problems with referees lie with SAFA. But there is a cost factor involved that needs to be factored into the discussion," admits Irvin Khoza.
VAR is therefore expensive, and its management requires specific technical skills. Not to mention the controversy that would inevitably arise from decisions made using this technology.
In any case, Irvin Khoza favors consultation first. He says: "Are there problems with goal-line issues that we have to solve first or if it's offside? But as I said last time, it's about auditing the infrastructure. Whether this VAR is going to be centrally controlled or decentralized."
Obvious mistakes in South Africa
VAR has been a topic of discussion lately. It is resurfacing against a backdrop of blatant mistakes made during matches in local competitions. Last Sunday, in the quarter-finals of the MTN 8, Kaizer Chiefs faced Mamelodi Sundowns. Both teams went to penalties (2-2 after extra time). During this fateful session, one incident drew attention. Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune saved a penalty. Except that the penalty went well over the line.
Here's Itumeleng Khune's penalty save in the shootout that everyone's talking about, with the ball having crossed the line, which ultimately led to a red card for Sundowns coach Wendell Robinson.#MTN8 pic.twitter.com/uSonnSKGZG
VAR could have clarified the situation. However, Sundowns won the session despite the error.
The VAR could also have prevented another controversy, in another match. The referee blew the whistle for an offside on a goal that was deemed to be valid. This was during the match between Swallows and Orlando Pirates.