VAR to be used at Cosafa Women’s Championships

Innocent Kurira , Sports Writer 

COSAFA has revealed that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system will be used at the Hollywoodbets Women’s Championship that gets underway tomorrow.

It will be used from the semi-finals onwards with the plan to introduce it for all tournaments in the future. 

Cosafa referees manager Felix Tangawarima is running a five-day all-female course for VAR.

“Cosafa has had the will to have the VAR project at our tournaments and finally it has arrived. Within the referees in our region, we have already registered approved officials for VAR. 

“For a referee to be licenced, they must have had 25 hours of training. We will have done a five-day preparatory course, simply because a number are encountering VAR for the first time. 

“The course includes theory, and of course practical. We have tasked the project leader from Fifa (Mike van der Roest) to take the referees through the theory part of it,” said Tangawarima.

“We split the referees into two groups. One group is on the field, the other is in the booth using the VAR. Though we will only use VAR ‘live’ for the semi-finals, third place play-off and final, we will be doing it offline as a training exercise before that during the tournament. 

“So, the referees will use it as if it has an impact on the game, but obviously that is just for training purposes until we get to the semi-finals. Why is this important for Cosafa and the match officials? 

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Image taken from Shutterstock

“It is important we train our officials in the use of VAR, because Caf and Fifa are looking for licensed officials and we don’t want our referees from the region to be left out. We want them to be on the same footing as their peers across the continent. 

“Cosafa will be one of the first regions to implement VAR for its tournaments, there are only some North African countries who have it already. So, this is very exciting for us and the referees, I think they cannot wait to use it in matches.

“VAR is there and within the laws of the game and it is not going anywhere, so it is important to us as a region to embrace it. In the future, if you want to go to a World Cup, you will have to have practiced with VAR. Fifa will come any day and say every game will be on VAR, so we urge our member associations to get ready for that,” said Tangawarima. 

Meanwhile, the Mighty Warriors, whose squad was announced yesterday, will leave the country for the tournament today. 

The Mighty Warriors are in Group C alongside Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana. After Lesotho, Zimbabwe will face Namibia two days later before wrapping up their pool assignments against Botswana on October 11.

Group B features Zambia, Mozambique, Angola and Comoros.Group A has South Africa, Malawi, Madagascar and Eswatini. 

The 21 Mighty Warriors

Goalkeepers: Cynthia Shonga, Chido Dzingirai, Lindiwe Magwede 

Defenders: Eunice Chibanda, Vimbai Mharadzi, Nobukhosi Ncube, Edine Mutumbami, Thelma Masawi, Purity Mugayi, Nokukhanya Ndlovu, Daisy Kaitano 

Midfielders: Alice Moyo, Ennety Sandile, Tanyaradzwa Chihoro, Patience Nyarai Ndlovu, Privilege Mupeti.

Strikers: Rudo Neshamba, Shyline Dambamuromo, Praynance Zvawanda, Maudy Mafuruse, Christabel Katona. — @innocentskizoe

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