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Chippa Calls For VAR

Chippa United Chairman Chippa Mpengesi has released a statement calling for the introduction of VAR in the DStv Premiership.

Mpengesi and the club have not been happy with officiating of late, and highlighted incidents in recent matches where officials have made incorrect calls.

Chippa are currently seventh on the DStv Premiership log, with 14 points after 10 games. While they have only lost twice in the league this season, they have drawn half of their games, with their last victory coming on the 26th of September, against SuperSport United.

“In recent matches, outcomes for Chippa United FC have spotlighted the pressing concerns within the officiating system under SAFA’s stewardship,” the statement read.

“In our matches against AmaZulu FC and Moroka Swallows FC, 2 goals were disallowed which led the club in missing out on four pivotal points due to decisions by assistant referees. Their role is pivotal to upholding the game’s fairness, and recent misjudgments underline a stark need for enhancement.

“As Chippa United FC, we are not asking for favours. Losing is part of the game, and usually, the most prepared team wins. However, even the best-prepared teams can be affected by unexpected decisions from match officials.

“Reflect on the 2023 MTN semi-finals: with more accurate officiating or the presence of VAR, we might have witnessed a Kaizer Chiefs vs. Orlando Pirates showdown in the MTN final. The referee did offer an apology, but the damage had already been done. Such a colossal cup derby would not just be a landmark in South African sporting history, but it would also have provided a substantial economic uplift. I do not speak on just on behalf of Chippa United Fc but every club from grassroots football to the premiership as each club has its own experience and unique story.

“Yes, the adoption of VAR requires a substantial investment from the PSL, but the repercussions of not having it-both in terms of credibility and the overall quality of our game-could be even more costly. VAR allows transparency and everyone’s involvement. it safeguards and takes away the the burden from match officials on making uncertain decisions. While sports analysts dissect the decisions of match officials on TV, their insights, though valued, cannot undo the points lost or rectify the damage incurred by these decisions.

“Now clubs, are more worried about the incompetency of the officiating instead of the preparation against the opposition. some clubs refer to various forms of spiritual intervention in the hopes that of ensuring match officials uphold fairness and justice. I pen this with deep empathy for match officials; they are human beings, and I firmly believe that with the right assistance, they can elevate their performance.

“In the short term my plea to SAFA is clear: elevate the skills and tools available to its assistant referees and 4th officials. The broader adoption of technological aids, like VAR, should involve a collective effort from all domestic football stakeholders.

“As I traveled to France to witness the Rugby World Cup, it opened my eyes to how precise the officiating was, displaying high levels of Discipline and fairness. Examine the effectiveness of the Television Match Official (MO) in rugby and the Decision Review System (DRS) in cricket. This is why the standards of these codes are so high.To be honest, without the TMO, we wouldn’t be celebrating the Springbok victory. Moreover, with inflation on the rise, the Springbok World Cup victory now holds potential to boost our economy, particularly the tourism sector. Additionally, more investment is likely to flow into the sporting code, Rugby. Only then did I realise the undeniable ripple effects of Match officials decisions.

“Let’s aspire to make our domestic league emblematic of fairness, integrity, and top-tier football. With such an investment in the standard of football, I truly believe our national team, Bafana Bafana, will one day win the FIFA World Cup.”

iDiski Times
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