JOHANNESBURG: The controversial video assistant referee (VAR) system will debut in Africa this Saturday (Sunday in Manila) when Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca host TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo for the CAF Super Cup.
VAR was supposed to be introduced in the continent from the African Nations Championship (CHAN) quarter-finals in Morocco last month, but training sessions were held instead.
The technology is used to assist referees with key decisions, including the awarding of goals and penalties, red cards, offside and mistaken identity.
FIFA will decide next month whether to use VAR at the World Cup this June and July in Russia.
“It is a historic moment for African football,” general secretary Amr Fahmy said on the Confederation of African Football website.
“I’m proud that Africa has taken the initiative to embrace (the) latest technology toward the development of football.
“This is a huge step for African football and I’m positive the impact will be felt at all levels of the game.”
VAR trials have been staged in the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A leagues and in English FA Cup ties.
A lengthy delay ensued before the system ruled offside a goal by Juan Mata for Manchester United during a 2-0 fifth-round win at Huddersfield Town last Saturday.
“… the decision went in our favour but this VAR, for me, kills the emotion of the game,” complained Huddersfield manager David Wagner.
The CAF Super Cup is an annual one-off match in which the Champions League winners host the holders of the second-tier Confederation Cup.