Retired referee expresses worry over VAR at Russia 2018

FIFA World Cup

RETIRED FIFA-badged referee Emmanuel Obafemi says he is worried by FIFA’s decision to deploy the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at the World Cup in Russia.

Obafemi, who is the Registrar of University of Ilorin, told newsmen on Tuesday in Ilorin that his worry stemmed from the fact that the system’s usage has been looking complicated.

“The use of VAR has in recent days been a complicated matter, and this is worrying especially as it is going to be used at the World Cup in Russia,’’ he said.

The Referee Instructor however observed that the system could in the long run prove to be a good one “as questionable decisions will no longer destroy a game’’.

He said the VAR system has now made it compulsory for the referee to be at his best so that none of his decisions would be upturned.

“According to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) protocols, VAR should only be used in four key cases: goals, penalties, direct red cards and mistaken identity.

“However, the VAR is the only person who can decide to get involved as the referee cannot ask him for help,” Obafemi said.

Speaking on the expectations from the five African representatives at the World Cup, Obafemi said: “I don’t forecast or predict, because I’m a referee. But the countries which have qualified are the best.

“So, we expect our best — Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia — to compete with the best from other continents.

“The game of football is not a guess game. It is an 11-11 game.’’

Obafemi also said the development of African football has been “particularly good day by day with Ahmad as President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

“The new CAF President has taken some steps to make football development in Africa to improve greatly.’’

On the Super Eagles’ preparations for Russia 2018, Obafemi expressed shock at the team’s current search for new players.

“It is a surprise that with two months to the World Cup, the coach of the Super Eagles is still shopping for the team’s number one goalkeeper,’’ he said.(NAN)

– Apr. 17, 2018 @ 18:26 GMT

AE

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