SAFA call on Pierluigi Collina to fast-track South Africa's VAR plans

SAFA call on Pierluigi Collina to fast-track South Africa's VAR plans

SAFA president Danny Jordaan has announced that plans to implement the Video Assistant Referee in South African football are advancing following a meeting with the chairman of FIFA's referee's committee Pierluigi Collina.

Collina, a recipient of FIFA's Best Referee of the Year award for six consecutive years from 1998 to 2003, is expected to fast-track the introduction of the VAR system as SAFA look to improve the state of the country's officiating, which has experienced a decline in recent years.

"I have met a lot of influential football people globally lately and when I was in Paris last week, I met, among other people, Collina and Arsene Wenger, whose expertise we want to tap into as we move towards revamping and taking our game to the next level," Jordaan said on the association's website.

"We want Wenger to help with boosting and revamping the development structures and Collina to help set up the long-awaited VAR process. These are exciting times for South African football as we are also bidding for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup."

At present, South Africa only has one active, trained VAR official – assistant referee Zakhele Siwela, following the retirement of Victor Gomes, who has since been appointed chairman of SAFA's referee's committee.

However, Collina is expected to help expedite the process of bringing more local match officials up to speed on the technology, before it could be rolled out in the Premier Soccer League and international matches in the country.