The second leg of the CAF Champions League final which was played in Tunis between Esperance Tunis and Wydad Casablanca witnessed the most bizarre and drama filled finals that Africa has ever witnessed. Wydad Casablanca equalised with what TV replays showed to be a legitimate goal yet the match officials ruled it to be offside, the problem is that when asked to review the goal the match officials indicated that the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology was broken and thus they couldn't review the goal, at which point the Wydad players refused to continue playing.
The match, which was played in 31 May 2019, was stopped after the 61st minute for well over an hour after which the trophy was awarded to Esperance with the explanation that Wydad had forfeited the match by refusing to continue playing.
Video Assistant Referees in football
During the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, VAR technology was used mostly to settle controversial incidents involving goals and penalties. However, it wasn't always used, even though fans might have thought an incident warranted the use of VAR, as the decision to consult VAR is decided upon by the assistant referee team reviewing the replays.
Towards the end of 2018 Egypt became the first African football association to indicate its intention to use VAR for its league and that was soon followed by CAF announcing VAR will be used during the finals of its club competitions.
The incident during the CAF Champions League final highlights that technology can only be as useful as it is used. What is more worrying is that CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, was at the match and he made his way to the football pitch to consult with match officials as scuffles ensued and yet somehow couldn't either postpone the match.Share this article via: