3 March 2023 – Fresh from appointing decorated former referee Victor Gomes as the chaiman of the SAFA Referees Committee, the Association is now pushing forward for the implementation of the long-awaited VAR.
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, who has been meeting international and influential football people around the world, recently met former referee Pierluigi Collina where the two discussed the idea of asking the Italian to come to South Africa and help set up the VAR structures.
Collina is currently involved with world football governing body FIFA, where he is tasked with the development of referees globally. He was named the World’s Best Referee by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics for six consecutive times from 1998-2003.
South Africa has only four VAR-trained officials – Gomes, Zakhele Siwela, Akhona Makalima and rising star Abongile Tom – and Dr Jordaan said by roping in Collina, the country will expedite the long-awaited implementation of VAR. In terms of the FIFA Statutes, it is the MA’s right to oversee and implement all of the Referees’ structures and programmes.
‘’I have met a lot of influential football people globally lately and when I was in Paris (France) last week, I met among other people, Collina and Arsene Wenger who we want to tap into their expertise as we move towards revamping and taking our game to the next level,’’ said Dr Jordaan
‘’We want Wenger to help with boosting and revamping the development structures and Collina to help set up the long-awaited VAR process. These are exciting times for South African football as we are also bidding for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup.’’
SAFA has lately been on the charm offensive internationally with FIFA President Gianni Infantino urging the Association to take its rightful place as one of the leading organisations not only on the continent but globally.
In a FIFA workshop in Paris last week attended by Dr Jordaan and SAFA CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe, the world football governing body touched on the need for MAs to set up viable academies, schools sport and women football among various topics.
‘’We are vigorously moving forward as part of our Vision 2030 and we have lined up extensive and various programmes to shape our goals. In the coming weeks, we will be calling upon all our Regions, LFAs and structures to workshop them on what FIFA directed all MAs to do,’’ added Dr Jordaan.