VAR still a long way off

The VAR technology has not been introduced in most African leagues, including Botswana PIC: ENGADGET.COM
The VAR technology has not been introduced in most African leagues, including Botswana PIC: ENGADGET.COM

Botswana is still miles away from introducing the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, Botswana Premier League (BPL) chief executive officer, Thabo Ntshinogang has revealed.

With CAF moving to introduce the technology across its competitions, including the Champions League and the Confederations Cup, expectations were that this would cascade to local associations. CAF piloted the use of VAR last year February, where it was in effect during the Super Cup and it was then used in last year’s Champions League and Confederations Cup finals.

However, there is no mention of VAR on the local shores yet, with Ntshinogang confirming that it will be some time before it is in effect.

“I think we will only consider that (VAR), once more of our referees have been trained by CAF on the system,” Ntshinogang said.

“We are fortunate that one of our top referees (Joshua Bondo) is going for training on VAR, sponsored by CAF.”

Bondo will become the first local referee to be taken through the system during a course to run from March 26-29 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This is in preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt, where the system will be in use for the first time in the history of the tournament.

BFA marketing and public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane said it would take time for VAR to be introduced in Botswana.

“It requires a lot of our referees to be trained on the system. Bondo being the first, we hope more will follow,” Mpatane said.

He said Bondo’s imminent appearance at his second AFCON finals bodes well for the growth of match officiating in the country.

FIFA panel referee, Tirelo Mositwane has been selected for the Under-17 AFCON to be held in Tanzania. He will undergo high-level training in Morocco before heading to Tanzania.

Bondo is in Zimbabwe this weekend to handle the Champions League tie between hosts, FC Platinum against Tunisia’s Esperance.

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