The Absa Premiership’s recent refereeing controversies have heard cries for the VAR system increase in intensity - forcing the PSL to respond.
First it was Kaizer Chiefs’ Samir Nurkovic scoring a hugely controversial goal against Sundowns last weekend.
Two days later Orlando Pirates’ Tshegofatso Mabasa scored an offside winner against Highlands Park in Tembisa. The incident was so hectic Park's coach Owen Da Gama suggested someone should be arrrested for allowing the goal to stand.
Mabasa was offside. No opinion to be had. pic.twitter.com/eWkYh1jBOn— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) October 29, 2019
The league’s stand-in CEO Mato Madlala, has revealed that Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) technology comes with the ownership of stadiums - something that does not exist in Mzansi. In other words, no club in South Africa owns a stadium but instead rent the facilities.
"It's not about us being ready for VAR, there are a lot of logistical challenges that we face as the League. We all know there's isn't a single venue that football owns in this country, which is crazy," Madlala said via KickOff.
"We are the biggest-supported sport, we are the biggest code, but we don't own a single venue. We do not have a Wembley. If you look all over the world where they've installed VAR, it's their venues. We don't [have our own].”
"In South Africa we are gypsies. Football, we are like gypsies, we move from one venue to the other, and that's one of the challenges that we are facing in terms of where do you install this VAR."
Mzansi answer to Wembley, Soweto's beloved FNB Stadium.
Madlala, who doubles as the chairwoman and owner of PSL side Golden Arrows, added that there could be alternative solutions. The league is currently doing research in Europe to find alternative ways to installing VAR where stadium venues are also rented.
"We are doing studies, we are going to different areas, different countries where they've installed it differently to see how it works, so we are still weighing those options,” Madlala continued.
"So it's not about we are ready or not, the biggest challenge is our history where we do not have a venue, no-one has a venue. You play at Mabhida, you play at FNB, we play all over, we are just gypsies.”
"So that's the message I'm saying to the supporters, it's not through our own unwillingness that we haven't looked at VAR, we are. But we do not have venues.”
Our second most-famous ground - Durban's Moses Mabhida.
"It would be very nice if every single team in South Africa has a venue, then we can look at going jointly, to go and source money for all our teams to install VAR,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on tomorrow’s biggest game of the weekend. Chiefs will take on Pirates in a Telkom Knockout quarter-finals game in Durban at 15:00.
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