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National Sports Festival: Edo 2020 Brings VAR To Nigeria

National Sports Festival: Edo 2020 Brings VAR To Nigeria

The Video Assistant Referee will be introduced to Nigerian football for the first time, when the 2020 National Sports Festival begins on March 22, courtesy of the Edo State Government.

With the development, the football event of the festival tagged Edo 2020 will be officiated by referees, assistant referees and VAR technology, the first time ever in the history of Nigerian football.

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It was learnt that as part of efforts to host a memorable festival and provide world-class sporting facilities across the state, the Edo State Government installed VAR technology at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, in line with global standard of football officiating.

One of the workers in the VAR Room Chinedu Agbo said the VAR cameras could also capture happenings outside the stadium.

“’The high resolution cameras inside the VAR Room have a capacity that can capture activities five kilometers within the stadium.

“So, it invariably means that the VAR technology at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium is amongst the best anywhere in the world,” Agbo stated.

Musa Ebomhiana, the Chief Press Secretary to the Edo State Deputy Governor, said the introduction of VAR for the upcoming festival was a sign that the state was ready to host the best Games ever in the country.

“The VAR is the only one in Nigeria and the third in Africa. But while the one in Morocco is collapsible, ours is permanently there. It’s the same company that installed the VAR technology in Morocco that also did ours. It’s a landmark achievement in Nigerian sports and we are happy,” Ebomhiana said.

Last November, Morocco made history as the first African country to apply the Video Assistant Referee technology in an African domestic match for the first time.

VAR was earlier used at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt from the quarter-final stages.

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