Safa brings retired Collina to kick-start VAR process in SA

The SA Football Association (Safa) has roped in retired and respected referee Pierluigi Collina to assist with the implementation of video-assistant refereeing (VAR).

Safa is speeding up the implementation of TV refereeing, saying it cannot wait any longer.

Safa referees officiating in the Premier Soccer League have been having a nightmare this season and are under pressure from the supporters, coaches, players for their questionable decisions in the field of play.

As a result, a number of referees face disciplinary action from Safa over shoddy and inept officiating.

To curb this conduct, Safa is bringing the best in the world in Collina, who has refereed in a number of Fifa World Cup tournaments and club competitions.

According to the Safa website, the association’s president, Danny Jordaan, met with Collina, who is now chairman of Fifa’s referees committee at the Fifa Symposium in Paris, France over a week ago.

The Italian legend agreed to visit South Africa and help set up the VAR structures.

Safa has already laid the foundation for the introduction VAR in South Africa’s professional game and the administrators have been in contact with the Confederation of African Football and Fifa.

As part of this drive, Jordaan intends to bring in some top global officials within the refereeing world to help expedite the VAR process.

Collina is on record as saying football should not be left behind in using technology to wipe out human mistakes, noting that he wants VAR interventions to be understandable to fans.

Recently appointed Safa referees committee chairperson Victor Gomes said the implementation of the VAR process is of the “highest priority” within football structures.

“It is not a question of whether it will happen, but it is now a question of when will we kick-start the process,” Gomes was quoted by the Safa website.

Gomes, who hung up his whistle soon after the Fifa World Cup in Qatar in 2022, said the VAR is an integral part of professionalising the sport.

He added that as human beings, there will always be an element of human error, but with the advent of VAR, that process will give officials a second chance to correct mistakes.

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