SUN SPORTS writes
THE use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in the Zambian league is a very possible reality as the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has invested in capacity building for coaches that includes video analysis, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga has said.
“When I talked about Zambia introducing Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in our leagues, I was ridiculed by some sections of our football.
They were quick to scream about costs and the practicability of such technology in our situation.
However, they neglected to see that we already had a head start by having one of our referees Janny Sikazwe among the first whistle-men in the world to use VAR at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup,” he said.
“Zambia already has the advantage of having its league matches broadcast across the African continent through our partnership with SuperSport.
We can draw huge benefits from this partnership that could ensure that we experiment with this technology. So it can never be by accident that we are training several individuals in Video Analysis.
We will also make use of this expertise in ensuring that our game improves through the use of technological tools.”
Kamanga said FAZ has conducted various capacity building workshops for coaches and administrators to develop the Zambian game.
“As FAZ, we shall continue to invest in capacity building for our coaches at various levels to ensure that we sustain the momentum currently underway with our grassroots football,” he disclosed.
He noted that a total of 1, 231 coaches from all the ten provinces held a FAZ D license.
Kamanga said FAZ has also trained 47 goalkeeper coaches and 41 Video Analysts from all Super League and National League clubs.
He said FAZ has done its research and have been monitoring modern trends to introduce Video Assistant Referee technology in Zambia.
“We can begin to prepare to match up with the developed world through the utilization of technology such as Video Analysis.
“I am happy that our technical bench has embraced this technology wholeheartedly and are taking it across our leagues. As FAZ, we shall continue to invest in capacity building for our coaches at various levels to ensure that we sustain the momentum currently underway with our grassroots football,” Kamanga said.
In the last three weeks the technical directorate has been on a cross-country tour conducting training courses for coaches and other technical experts in the game.
Chipolopolo goalkeeper coach Miroslav Stojnic led the technical bench in conducting goalkeeping courses for all the Super League and National Division One teams in the country. Head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has also been on the ground to ensure consistency with the football philosophy he is inculcating in the national team.
The convergence points were Lusaka, Kabwe and Ndola with all the coaches from across the country congregated at the nearest centre for them.
Kamanga hailed all the clubs and academies that made the players available for practical sessions during the goal keeper and video analysis training courses adding that the capacity building programmes were being implemented as part of the 10-year FAZ strategic plan that seeks to take Zambian football to the next level.
He said the association shall keep true to its pledge to build a solid foundation for the future of the Zambian game after a total of 88 coaches were trained in the last three weeks in Goalkeeping and Video Analysis.
“As an Association, we are putting in place a mechanism that will offer continuous support to all our trained coaches to ensure that they put the knowledge to use as this is the only way we can develop our game.
Meanwhile, forty Zambian referees have undergone a CAF/FIFA certified online course as part of the development process for whistle-men and women.
According to FAZ Referees Manager Aziph Banda the virtual training was for FIFA and other national selected referees.
The five day training was conducted by top CAF/FIFA instructors namely Lim Kee Chong (Mauritius), Jerome Damon (SA), Bento Navesse (Mozambique) and Mohammed Mansour (Egypt).
Banda says the referees were drawn from across the country and were guided and trained on the new amendments of the laws of the game by FIFA.