AFCON receives thumbs up for fair VAR usage


Jose Morinho

from ALEXIS DOUMBIA in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire Bureau
ABIDJAN, (CAJ News) – PORTUGAL’S most decorated coach Jose Mourinho has hailed the Confederation of African Football (CAF) match officials for fairly using the newly introduced video assistant referee (VAR) technology suggesting the so-called developed world should learn one or two tricks from the African continent.

The former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid coach was one of the 2.2 billion football supporters across the world that followed the thrilling Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament hosted in Côte d’Ivoire where the host nation Côte d’Ivoire clinched the title for the third time after beating rival Nigeria 2-1 in the final played on Sunday.

“I have watched AFCON more than European football. They are simply teaching us (Europeans) to be honest. In AFCON VAR is used exactly the way it should be used. They do not use it to help the money magnet teams or famous teams.

“This is why you saw the best out of every team . Because they know VAR is not hired behind the scenes but is for everyone. They listen even to their Players if the Ref missed something and go check. In Europe if I as a coach or a player plead with a ref to go check something, it is a red card for doing that. The headquarters for VAR needs to be in CAF” Mourinho said.

Many African football followers such as Samuche concurred: “The efficient use of VAR is the reason why very few big names in African Football made it to the Business phase of #AFCON2023 No disrespect to previous winners, but there was a time when certain countries won same AFCON 3ce relying on tight officiating calls that aren’t reviewed.”

He was referring to big football nations such as defending champions Senegal, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Morocco and Tunisia, who were eliminated in the early stages due to fair officiating as opposed to the Western world where traditional big teams were always favoured without evening checking with VAR.

Greywolf Dawidi said:”Wide expectations and suspicion was that African refs were largely corrupt and European refs were objective. Afcon proved that European var refs/ officials are corrupt. Simple!”

Edwin Otieno Omondi suggested: “CAF must ensure that all the gains that have been made especially with use of VAR in this AFCON should not be negated when the competition moves to Morocco next. There’s a certain reputation that North African teams have especially when at home.”

Sanwo Abiola noted: “My first impressive impression about VAR in this tournament came when the ref picked that penalty for Nigeria against Ivory coast in the group stages. I didn’t expect that to happen, especially against the host nation.”

A delighted Goziem Sunday mentioned: “This AFCON is far better than Euros and Copa America,” while remarking on Shafi Hamidu: “Jose Mourinho giving VAR lessons from AFCON? Who knew the African Cup of Nations was the pinnacle of fair play and transparency? Maybe we should all take notes from the referees who actually listen to players and coaches without dishing out red cards like candy.

Tatenda Masunda suggested: “Honestly the way VAR was used at afcon was exceptional. Every football fan who watched it got an opportunity to learn how exactly the technology was meant to help the game. Premier league PGMOL needs to seriously consider the lessons from Afcon for the growth of their own game.”

– CAJ News

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