By Sedara Philip
Johannesburg – According to the South African Football Association, the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee programme is closer than ever.
The nation’s football governing body has confirmed that they have sent a letter to the Federation International Football Association (FIFA), confirming their intention to move forward with their plans.
In the letter to FIFA, SAFA provided the itemised costs of the programme including those of VAR training, referees, technical staff and the equipment.
“We sent a letter to FIFA about our intention to implement the VAR process and the world football governing body has confirmed receipt of the letter and will most likely respond to our correspondence anytime from now. They will give us direction on the way forward,’’ said SAFA head of referees, Abdul Ebrahim.
Victor Gomes, who was appointed as the Chairman of the SAFA Referees Committee in February this year said that one of the mandates he would pursue was the implementation of VAR.
Gomes recently confirmed with SAFA that the letter to FIFA was to seek advice and inform them that the association was ready to proceed to the next stage of the project of introducing VAR in the country
‘’We have been working hard to get this project off the ground. When I was appointed the SAFA Referees Committee chair, one of my main priorities was to introduce VAR and I am glad to say, soon this will be a reality,’’ said Gomes.
The Premier Soccer League has been in dire need of a forward-thinking initiative to aid the ever-deteriorating refereeing standards that plague the highest level of football in the country.
However, it appears SAFA has heeded the call as they attempt to fast-track the implementation of VAR with a few teams already having had a taste of continental competition.