Here it is again! The VAR, contested in Africa after the controversy of the last final of the Champions League, can be used from the CAN quarter beginning Wednesday. On the ground, to follow Senegal-Benin and Algeria-Ivory Coast.
"All the material has been received, the trials have begun," CAF Secretary General Moaz Hajji said Friday. Until then, "everything is going well." And the day of the match?
In Egypt, the issue around video assistance to arbitration goes beyond whether a player touched the ball with the hand, or if an attacker was offside: this is part of the credibility of the organizer who is playing.
African football was shaken by the scandal of the final return of C1 between Wydad Casablanca and ES Tunis at the end of May, given to replay by the body after the Moroccans left the field during the game to protest against a failure of the VAR.
If the fate of this match should end before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), it has already emerged a loser, the CAF, which has not yet managed to accept this new technology on the Continent.
- Polemic in Ghana -
For its great international showcase, its president Ahmad Ahmad wanted to delay by not installing the video from the quarters, instead of the group phase. "It's a measure of caution," said the Malagasy.
For the organization, which boasts the good performance of the largest CAN in history, 24 countries, the success will not be total if the use of the VAR again talk, as was the case these last weeks at the Women's World Cup in France and Copa America in Brazil.
His absence has already made people unhappy. Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah complained of the lack of VAR in the 8th loss to Tunisia (1-1, 5-4 on the table), during which a goal for his team was canceled for a nonexistent hand.
"The VAR will help African football a lot, if we had it, we could have had a different result," said the coach.
The organizers ensure that everything will be ready: "The VAR requires not only equipment but also expertise.We are in phase today with all the African arbitration to set up training so that these referees can be approved VAR internationally, "said Hajji.
"I hope it will work until the end and that there will be no technical problems," said Benin coach Michel Dussuyer, a supporter of this technology. "The use of VAR is a plus for football because it corrects injustices and one day it can serve you the other day to serve you."
Who will benefit, who will protest? The final table, relieved of great favorites like Morocco, Egypt and Cameroon, seems very open. Without being impressive during the first phase, Nigeria, against South Africa Wednesday in Cairo (19:00 GMT), and Tunisia, against Madagascar the next day (16:00) at the Al-Salam stadium, are well placed for s' enter in the last square.
But all eyes will be turned to Senegal and Algeria, the two most serious candidates for the title. The Fennecs will take a test against the unpredictable Ivorians Nicolas Pépé, Thursday in Suez (16:00 GMT), when the Lions of Teranga face the surprise Benin Wednesday (19:00).
"I'm not a big fan of the VAR but it can help us as well as penalize us, then we do not have a choice, we're going to do with it but we're not going to rely on the VAR, we're going to play our football and show what is Senegal, "said defender Salif Sané.
The CAN-2019 Quarterfinal Program (in GMT) taking place in Egypt:
(16h00) Senegal - Benin (stage of 30-June, Cairo)
(19h00) Nigeria - South Africa (International Stadium, Cairo)
(16h00) Algeria - Ivory Coast (Suez)
(19h00) Madagascar - Tunisia (Al-Salam stadium, Cairo)
(16h00) Senegal or Benin - Madagascar or Tunisia (June 30th stadium, Cairo)
(19h00) Algeria or Ivory Coast - Nigeria or South Africa (international stadium, Cairo)
. Match for third place
Wednesday July 17th
(7 pm) Losers of the semi-finals (Al-Salam stadium, Cairo)
Friday, July 19th
(19h00) Winners of the semifinals (international stadium, Cairo)
. Already played
Morocco - Benin (+) 1-1 ap (1-4 to tabs)
Senegal (+) - Uganda 1-0
Nigeria (+) - Cameroon 3-2
Egypt - South Africa (+) 0-1
Madagascar (+) - DR Congo 2-2 ap (4-2 on the tab)
Algeria (+) - Guinea 3-0
Mali - Ivory Coast (+) 0-1
Ghana - Tunisia (+) 1-1 ap (4-5 on the tab)
(the teams followed by the (+) sign qualified for the next round)
? 2019 AFP