South Africa's 2022 World Cup-bound referee Gomes insists on need for VAR in PSL

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Victor Gomes Ndlondlo Soweto derby 2022
Top South African referee Victor Gomes has explained why the Premier Soccer League needs to introduce the video assistant referee.
  • The PSL is yet to introduce VAR a few years after the tech arrived in Africa
  • Top referee Gomes comments on the PSL's lack of VAR
  • He is one of the few local refs exposed to VAR and will be in Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Gomes is one of the few local football referees familiar with this refereeing technology. He explains how he has to adjust every time he returns home from international assignments as he details how officiating with VAR is different to handling matches without the technology. The experienced referee explains why the PSL should embrace video-aided officiating.

WHAT GOMES SAID: “We’ve been training a long time. I mean, we were part of the birth of VAR, so we’ve been there [prepared for the technology] for a long time,” said Gomes as per SABC Sport. “I’ve always said to people, when I come and ref a local game, I already have to adapt because of the protocols to follow with VAR and, when you don’t have VAR in the match, you change a little bit.

“For example, with VAR, you always wait for the outcome of a promising attack, where without it you have to blow immediately – in fact, if you delay, people here will start throwing you with stuff, you know.

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“So, I won’t say we’re on the back foot but I can say, those who have VAR in the country are already a step ahead. I don’t see the future of football – or refereeing – without VAR. I know there are plans in place and the sooner we get it done, the better for everybody.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: VAR was first used in Africa when Wydad Casablanca played TP Mazembe in the Caf Super Cup in February 2018 but South Africa is yet to adopt the technology. This is despite South Africa arguably having the most advanced football facilities on the continent. But some North African leagues are already using VAR.


Percy Tau - Victor Gomes - ahly - final cl 2022

Andre Ayew and Thomas Teye Partey of Ghana, referee Victor Gomes, 2019 Afcon

Victor Gomes

WHAT NEXT FOR GOMES? Gomes will be at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar together with another South African official Zakhele Siwela who is a linesman. It will be the first time for Gomes to feature at the global football tournament.