FUFA set to introduce VAR in UPL
Video assistant referee (VAR) is set to be used in the Uganda Premier League in the near future, according to Ronnie Kalema, a member of the FUFA Executive Committee.
While appearing on the morning Sports show, NBS Sport, Kalema said that the federation has intentions to introduce VAR in Ugandan football leagues.
“We have a discussion about introducing VAR in our Ugandan league. We want to be the number one nation to have VAR in Africa.”
However, he did not provide more information on when the federation hopes to roll out the process for the introduction of VAR.
This comes at the back of the controversial decision of FUFA’s Disciplinary Panel, that have ordered the replay of Stanbic Uganda Cup match between Bul FC and SC Villa.
SC Villa petitioned FUFA complaining about their disallowed goal in the match that was played on February 17 2023.
After investigations, the report from the Referee’s Disciplinary panel indicated that the Assistant Referee Muyanga Khalid admitted that he had errored in his decision of denying SC Villa their equaliser.
This is not the first time match officials are being held liable for incorrect decisions in Ugandan football leagues, and the idea of VAR may as well be a solution.
About Video assistant referee
The video assistant referee (VAR) is a match official in association football who reviews decisions made by the referee. Operating under the philosophy of “minimal interference, maximum benefit”, the VAR system seeks to provide a way for “clear and obvious errors” and “serious missed incidents” to be corrected.
The VAR and the AVARs automatically check every on-field referee decision falling under the four reviewable categories. If the VAR does not identify any mistake during the check, he or she will communicate this to the referee. This is called a “silent check” and requires no further action, usually not causing any delay to the game. At other times, a VAR check may cause the game to be delayed while the VAR ascertains whether or not a possible mistake has occurred. The referee may delay the restart of play for this to occur, and indicates an ongoing check by pointing to his or her ear.
There are four categories of decisions that can be reviewed.
- Goal/no goal – attacking team commits an offence, ball out of play, ball entering goal, offside, handball, offences and encroachment during penalty kicks.
- Penalty/no penalty – attacking team commits an offence, ball out of play, location of offence, incorrect awarding, offence not penalised.
- Direct red card – denial of obvious goal-scoring opportunity, serious foul play, violent conduct/biting/spitting, using offensive/insulting/abusive language or gestures. All straight red cards are subject to review.
- Mistaken identity in awarding a red or yellow card.