VAR in play from quarter-finals at Cup of Nations

A picture shows a monitor of the  video assistant referee  (VAR)  before the France 2019 Women's World Cup Group B football match between Spain and South Africa, on June 8, 2019, at the Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, northwestern France. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

A picture shows a monitor of the video assistant referee (VAR) before the France 2019 Women's World Cup Group B football match between Spain and South Africa, on June 8, 2019, at the Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, northwestern France. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

VAR, the video review system that sparked chaotic scenes in the African Champions League final last month, will be introduced from the quarter-final stage at the Cup of Nations in Egypt, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad said Thursday.

“It’s a measure of prudence. When you see the various countries that use VAR, they don’t rush into it from the start. It’s a technology that a lot of people don’t completely use yet,” Ahmad said in Cairo, on the eve of the opening match between hosts Egypt and Zimbabwe.

“It was planned for the semi-finals to start with, but we insisted that we have to go a little bit further. The executive committee decided on the quarter-finals, so that it’s a success.”

The announcement was one keenly awaited since the controversy that overshadowed the second leg of the CAF Champions League final between Tunisian club Esperance and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.

In an unprecedented decision, CAF ordered the match to be replayed following the Cup of Nations after Wydad walked off the pitch in protest and refused to return after a faulty VAR system was unavailable to judge a disallowed equaliser.

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