Sports Analyst, Aaron Mubanga says the implementation of Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) is a significant step towards ensuring fair play in the game.
Mubanga, in an interview with Lusaka Star, expressed his satisfaction with the introduction of VAR, highlighting its potential to rectify mistakes made during matches and improve overall fairness.
“With the help of technology, errors can be corrected, and the introduction of VAR is a commendable move in the right direction,” Mubanga stated.
He further emphasised that the introduction of VAR showcases the advancement in sports management, aligning with the growing influence of technology worldwide.
“The Association has chosen a game that greatly benefits from technology assistance, and in the future, it will contribute to reducing officiating errors,” Mubanga added.
However, another sports analyst, Peter Soko, shared a contrasting view, suggesting that while the introduction of VAR is commendable, it may have come at an inopportune time due to declining standards in local teams.
“It is somewhat time-consuming to implement VAR in leagues that lack strength. It would have been more beneficial if this initiative had been introduced when we had teams competing more effectively,” Soko opined.
Soko further highlighted that VAR implementation is one of the measures Football Association Zambia (FAZ) could take to elevate the standards of football leagues in Zambia.
He also expressed the hope for transparency from FAZ in terms of sharing information regarding the cost of acquiring VAR, equipment, and its frequency of use.
Mwanabaleya Lubono, a passionate supporter, regarded the introduction of VAR as a significant milestone for Zambian football. He noted that Zambia is among the few African countries, including Egypt and Morocco, to invest in VAR technology.
“Out of the 54 countries on the continent, Zambia ranks third in terms of acquiring VAR technology. This is a remarkable achievement,” Lubono enthusiastically stated.
Lubono also acknowledged the impact of VAR during the ABSA Cup final, particularly in disallowing a second goal due to a foul in its build-up, underscoring the system’s ability to ensure fairness and uphold the integrity of the game.
Zambia becomes the third country in Africa after Morocco and Egypt to use VAR.