CHAN 2020 quarterfinals begin as CAF introduces VAR

The quarterfinal stage of the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) gets underway later on Saturday as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the introduction of the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) during the knockout phase of the competition.

CAF will introduce the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) from the quarterfinal stages of the 2020 Total CHAN in Cameroon on January 30. /VCG Image

The first quarterfinal, where VAR will be first used in this year’s competition, sees 2016 finalists Mali face off against the Republic of Congo at the Ahmadou Ahidiou Stadium in Yaoundé.

The second quarterfinal will see Cameroon tackle two-time champions the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Japoma Stadium in Douala, with the hosts aiming to reach their first ever semifinal.

The other quarterfinals will be played on Sunday and will see defending champions Morocco play Zambia and Guinea play Rwanda.

CAF Deputy Secretary General Anthony Baffoe said the introduction of VAR will help referees make “quality” decisions even as he acknowledged that the officiating at the tournament so far had been very good.

“The standard of football in this competition has been very high and this has been complemented by good match officiating. Of course, there are areas of improvement and with the introduction of VAR in the quarterfinals, this will assist our match officials to make quality decisions,” Baffoe said after visiting VAR facilities and match officials.

“As an administration, we are here to provide support. We have highly qualified instructors and people in charge in that space and they are doing a good job.”

CAF first applied VAR in its competitions during the 2018 CAF Super Cup and has since gone on to introduce it in the Africa Cup of Nations, CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.