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VAR in NPFL: Sports analyst weighs timing, expectations, pitfalls

by Victorious
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VAR in NPFL: Sports analyst weighs timing, expectations, pitfalls

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) might soon make its debut in the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL), according to recent statements by Ibrahim Gusau, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Gusau expressed determination to implement VAR in the domestic league before the end of his current tenure in 2026.

However, Solace Chukwu, Chief Editor for Pulse Sports, believes that this move could be a misstep in priorities for Nigerian football. He highlighted the NPFL’s limited broadcast setup, mostly using a single-camera arrangement. Chukwu suggests that the focus on VAR might be premature, especially considering the league’s infrastructure and existing technological constraints.

Gusau emphasized plans to initiate the introduction of VAR by sending referees to countries where VAR is operational to study its implementation and use.

Chukwu raised concerns about the challenges faced by top leagues like the English Premier League, despite their advanced infrastructure and larger budgets. He pointed out how VAR controversies often overshadow the essence of the game, with post-match discussions focusing more on technology-related decisions rather than football itself.

Moreover, he highlighted the disparities between the NPFL’s environment and the established leagues. Chukwu expressed doubts regarding the level of trust in refereeing, the technological and capacity limitations, and the lack of Nigerian referees in major international tournaments. He anticipates a potentially clumsy implementation of VAR due to these existing constraints.

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