Why VAR said No to Yanga's goal against Mamelodi Sundowns


Why VAR said No to Yanga's goal against Mamelodi Sundowns

Festus Chuma 12:15 - 08.04.2024

A controversial VAR decision ruled out a Young Africans' goal against Mamelodi Sundowns, sparking debate and a formal complaint to CAF.

Tanzania Premier League giants Young Africans (Yanga) found themselves at the center of a contentious decision during their recent match against Mamelodi Sundowns,leading to widespread debate and controversy over the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in football.

A goal by Stephane Aziz Ki, which seemed to have given Yanga the lead with a spectacular strike hitting the underside of the crossbar and appearing to cross the goal line, was ruled out following a VAR review, sparking mixed reactions from the football community.

Jerome Damon, a former FIFA Referee and VAR instructor, shed light on the incident, emphasizing the limitations of VAR in the absence of Goal Line Technology (GLT).

"Without GLT it’s impossible for VAR to say goal or no goal – one can speculate either way but cannot be 100% sure,” Damon explained as per iDiskiTimes.

He elaborated that the VAR protocol questions whether the on-field decision was "obviously wrong" based on available evidence.

In this case, the evidence did not conclusively prove the decision on the field was incorrect, hence the "no goal" ruling was upheld.

The controversy did not stop with the decision itself. Young Africans filed a complaint to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), alleging a "deliberate attempt to influence the outcome of the match in favor of Mamelodi Sundowns," suggesting this constituted a serious case of match-fixing.

The complaint further accused the match officials of a "selective use of VAR," claiming that it was primarily used to scrutinize Young Africans for potential red cards while ignoring a "legitimate goal-scoring opportunity."

This incident has reignited discussions around the application and reliability of VAR in African football competitions.

The technology, which was praised for its effectiveness at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, is now under scrutiny for its consistency and the subjective nature of its application.

Critics argue that without the universal implementation of GLT alongside VAR, decisions regarding goal-line incidents will remain contentious and subject to interpretation, potentially undermining the credibility of the technology and the fairness of the game.

The football community will be watching closely to see how VAR is employed in future matches and whether any changes or enhancements are made to its application to avoid similar controversies.

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