Sunday Oct 07, 2018. 12:00
For the first time, the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be applied for the finals of this season’s CAF Interclubs competitions.
Egyptian giants Al Ahly are currently leading 2-0 on aggregate against Algerian side ES Setif in the 2018 CAF Champions League semi-final tie, while Tunisian giants Esperance de Tunis are trailing 1-0 on aggregate against Angolan champions C.D. Primeiro de Agosto in the other semi-final tie. The return legs will be played on October 23.
In the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals, Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca are leading 1-0 on aggregate against Nigerian side Enyimba and Egyptian outfit Al Masry are locked at 0-0 with DR Congolese champions AS Vita on aggregate. The return legs will be played on October 24.
CAF Executive Committee made the decision to use VAR at its meeting on 27-28 September 2018 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
The decision comes after the success of the premier implementation of the latest refereeing technology during the CAF Super Cup last February between Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco) and TP Mazembe (DR Congo) in Casablanca.
“This is a historic moment for African football. It clearly shows that CAF is determined and committed to the interclub competitions and will bring on board the latest and innovative technologies to make it better. We (CAF) are the first confederation to use VAR in the final of the Club competitions. We did it for the CAF Super Cup and we are delighted to go a step further with the Interclubs competitions,” said CAF General Secretary Amr Fahmy.
In the build-up to that, a preparatory course has been scheduled for 24-29 October 2018 in Cairo, Egypt. In attendance will be 12 elite match officials (six referees and six assistant referees) to be supervised by David Elleray, Technical Director of the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
The selected referees are Janny Sikazwe (Zambia), Ghead Grisha (Egypt), Mehdi Abid Charef (Algeria), Bamlak Tessema (Ethiopia), Victor Gomes (South Africa) and Papa Bakary Gassama (Gambia). And the Assistant Referees are Emiliano Jerson Dos Santos (Angola), Zakhele Siwela (South Africa), Jean Claude Birumushahu (Burundi), Anouar Hmila (Tunisia), Abdelhak Etchiali (Algeria) and Mahmoud Abo El Regal (Egypt).