Sports

‘VAR costly for Zambian League’

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
VIDEO Assistant Referee (VAR) technology is too expensive for the Zambian League whose many clubs do not have the financial resources as it could gobble about K5 million just to manage it per season, says former Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) technical director Honour Janza.
Janza said a stadium like National Heroes in Lusaka will need about 16 cameras to use VAR in a single match and the cost of installation could range up to K2.8 million.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga is quoted in sections of the media that he would introduce VAR at Super Division and Eden National league once re-elected into office.
VAR is used to determine contentious issues such as the award of goals and penalties, decisions over direct red cards and cases of mistaken identity.
Leagues that use the extra technology feature a fifth match official who studies video footage of an incident before a decision is reached by the referee.
Eswatini giants Mbabane Swallows coach, Janza, admitted that the introduction of VAR would greatly help eradicate corruption from match officials or cheating when deciding on the most important factor of winning and losing a game (goal).
He, however said, no matter how much Zambia may need the technology, it was expensive to manage.
He said purchasing of equipment and an increase in personnel is a cost on the game.
“It is simply expensive for Africa, which includes Zambia whose most clubs struggle financially. We have to look at buying of equipment and also the extra personnel in each game in terms of match officials managing VAR. There is also an issue of staff training before introduction of the technology.
Geographical location in the stadium is also key to avoid distractions and competence from the management staff is cardinal,” he said.
Janza, however, said if the league had to go in direction of VAR, then it should be only selected games from Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa and National Heroes Stadium as they are the standard stadiums where the technology can be installed.
If the VAR was implemented, Zambia would be the first country in Africa to introduce the technology.
Meanwhile, Division Two side Kalulushi Zebras proprietor KaputoMutampunka called on FAZ to assist clubs with some stimulus packages to help the lower division clubs to survive after Covid-19 pandemic.
“Lower Division clubs are financially in distress due to Covid-19 so we need FAZ to spare a little something so we can fulfill the fixtures once the league resumes.
“Personally I will need K20,000 for my team to fulfill the remaining 10 games, and because my Lodge is not operating this period, I do not know where to get the money,” he said.

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