Tanzania poised to be first African country to deploy VAR in local football league

IRINGA: Tanzania is getting ready to be the first African country to use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in its local football league, Daily News Digital understands.

Currently, VAR technology is used in Africa’s inter-club competitions, specifically from the quarterfinals to the finals.

The VAR system helps referees make decisions, especially in cases of goal-related controversies, offenses leading to a goal, penalty decisions, offenses leading to a penalty decision, and direct red card incidents (excluding second yellow card/caution) and mistaken identity.

Speaking at the 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) in Iringa on Saturday, TFF President Wallace Karia announced that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has provided VAR equipment, and installations will begin soon. Karia emphasized that the equipment will only be installed at venues meeting FIFA and CAF standards.

Karia said, “Let me give you good news that we have received VAR from CAF, and this comes due to the good relations we have with CAF.

Experts arrived yesterday [Friday] to provide a seminar on how the system works, and they will be installed at standard venues only.”

Furthermore, the TFF president indicated the possibility of installing VAR at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar.

Last year, Minister for Finance Mwigulu Nchemba raised awareness on his Instagram page about the necessity of having VAR in the country.

He wrote, “I will confer with my fellow minister responsible for sports such that in the next budget, we should seek funds to install VAR on at least 10 venues. We should put artificial turf to do away with the tendency of playing football on fields… this is the area being complained about.”

The first utilization of VAR at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in the city occurred during the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final match between Simba and Orlando Pirates on April 17th last year.

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