Following the Football Association of Zambia’s (FAZ) decision to use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology during the ABSA Cup final between MUZA and Forest Rangers, Zambia has become the third African country to do so.
After completing multiple behind-the-scenes trials, FAZ President Andrew Kamanga expressed the association’s commitment to studying the efficiency of VAR.
The ABSA Cup final was a perfect venue for demonstrating the technology and examining its potential impact on reducing refereeing errors and complaints.
“We have been working in the background to see how we can try out the VAR,” President Kamanga stated before the game.
“An announcement was made sometime back about VAR. In the last month, we have been working very closely with FIFA and CAF to try and see if we can showcase VAR at the ABSA Cup final.”
Even though it’s still early, President Kamanga recognised the value of VAR in improving match officiating and lowering mistakes.
The use of this technology is intended to allay the worries voiced by Zambian football stakeholders, who have expressed support for the initiative and a belief that it will greatly boost the standard of officiating in the nation.
Zambia now joins Morocco and Egypt as African nations that have successfully introduced VAR in their respective leagues.
The North African countries adopted the technology two years ago, paving the way for its implementation on the continent. However, several African nations have been hesitant to embrace VAR due to its high cost and the lack of proper infrastructural support.
VAR in Zambian football is a huge step forward, showcasing the country’s dedication to embrace modern technical improvements in the sport.
Stakeholders will actively monitor the impact of VAR on match officiating and its potential to improve fairness and accuracy in Zambian football as the trial progresses.