Video Assitant Referees (VAR) is set to be used for the first time in all games in the 2021 African Cup of Nation (Afcon) that is set to kick off on Sunday in Cameroon.
The new development where the technology will be used in all of the 52 matches is contrary to the previous tournament where it was only used from the quarter-finals.
“With Caf advancing with plans not only to improve the image of refereeing but also produce world-class match officials in Africa, the implementation of VAR in all 52 matches is a step in the right direction,” said a Caf statement as reported by BBC.
In addition to VAR, Caf has appointed 24 referees, 31 assistant referees and eight video assistant referees to help officiate the matches.
Among the officials, four are female while two are from the North and Central America and Caribbean Football Confederation (Concacaf)
Caf has selected 24 referees, 31 assistant referees and eight video assistant referees from 36 countries for the tournament in Cameroon, with Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga among four female officials.
The referees from outside the continent, Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar and Mexican VAR official Fernando Guerrero will also be included as part of an inter-confederation skills exchange program.
Other than introducing the VAR at the group stages, the African football governing body has also increased the winners’ prize to $5 million (approximately Ksh500 million), an increase of $500,000 from the 2019 tournament that took place in Cairo, Egypt.
The runners-u*p will now receive Ksh 275,000,000, while those beaten semi-finalists and quarter-finalists will receive Ksh 220,000,000 and Ksh117,500,000 respectively.