VAR set for NPFL debut before season ends, says referee chief

VAR Set to Make Its Debut in NPFL Before Season Ends, Says Referee Chief

Sanni Zubair, President of the Nigeria Referees Association, has stated that plans to implement video-assisted referees (VAR) before the conclusion of the season are in the works ahead of the start of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2023-24 season.

The NPFL’s new season will begin off on Saturday with the first match between Shooting Stars and Plateau United at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan.

Zubair emphasised that the use of VAR will enhance referee performance even more given that the bulk of league matches will be aired using the newly acquired AI cameras.

He said, “There are talks around it. We thought we would have gotten it this time around, but maybe before the start of the league or when the league is on. I know they are working towards it, and we are aware of that, and since we are going to be having our matches streamed live.”

“Football is now being played with technology, and we must move with the pace of the world as well. If the NFF provides VARs in some centers, it will help the performance of our referees as well,” NRA president, Zubairu told Punch.

He added that, “On our own, according to our plans, we will ensure the adequate training of our referees to meet up with the best global practices.”

Enyimba is the defending champion of the NPFL.

What introduction of VAR will mean for Nigerian football

VAR has been a game-changer in football leagues worldwide, bringing both positives and some flaws. But the benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks.

It’s fantastic news that the NPFL will be implementing VAR, ensuring improved officiating and a fairer game for all.

As the trial centers show promising results, it’s only a matter of time before every stadium in the league adopts VAR. This will not only enhance the quality of refereeing but also boost fan confidence, allowing them to enjoy matches without feeling unfairly treated by referees. Exciting times ahead for the NPFL.

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