Mkapa venue to bless VAR this year

DAR ES SALAAM: VIDEO Assistant Referee (VAR) will be installed at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium this year.

The Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Almasi Kasongo said the installation in Dar es Salaam will be fulfilled this year.

He made the remarks recently in Dar es Salaam while giving his insights on the performance of referees who entirely depend on their eyes live to make decisions during matches.

“To be honest, the issue of letting the referee interpret football laws within six seconds using his own eyes without giving them access to have a second chance of looking at the controversial scenario before making the final decision is very difficult.

“Our colleagues in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world are no longer fully depending on the eyes of referees and instead, they use VAR which intervenes whenever a decision made requires to be re-checked.

“The good news for us is that this year will not end without having a VAR installed at Benjamin Mkapa venue courtesy of support we have received from the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF),” he said.

The 60,000-capacity arena is currently the biggest stadium in the country and is among the venues picked to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches to be jointly staged by Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.

The stadium is undergoing refurbishment hence the reason it has been exempted from hosting Premier League matches, a decision which was declared recently by the Ministry for Culture, Arts and Sports.

The first phase of its renovation was done in readiness for the Africa Football League (AFL) inaugural ceremony and match involving Simba against Al Ahly played on October 20th last year.

Meanwhile, the government already announced the coming of other two new stadia to be constructed in Dodoma and Arusha respectively.

Completion of the two venues will positively transform the country’s football infrastructure landscape thereby enabling the nation to stand a good chance of hosting high profile tournaments.

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