VAR official makes tea during Egyptian Premier League match, ex-referee Othman recalls

Video Assistant Referee 2019Getty Images

Former referee Samir Othman has revealed a bizarre incident in the Egyptian Premier League, where a technician pulled out a VAR special electrical connector to make tea and as a result affected the proceedings on the pitch.

In a recent interview with ONTime, the official explained how the video referee realised something was wrong and told his colleagues the problem.

"In one of the matches last season, the technology suddenly failed, which prompted the video referee to inform the referee of the field of the situation," Othman stated.

"After a while, the match director was contacted, who then returned the screen to work and fixed the defect.

"It turned out that the reason behind the screen being turned off was that one of the technicians decided to pull out the special electrical connector [to make tea]."

The ex-Fifa referee added that the situation of VAR failing at some point in the match was captured but the main reason was not explained.

The VAR team, stationed in the video operation room, automatically checks every on-field referee decision falling under the four reviewable categories and if the VAR does not identify any mistake during the check, this is communicated to the referee.

The video referee was introduced in the Egyptian Premier League in the 2020/21 season after getting the green ight from the International Football Association Board. IFAB approves the use of the technology in domestic competitions but only after fulfilling all the necessary requirements.

Some of the key decisions VAR checks include goals when there are any infringements leading up to it, review if a sending-off is justified, check if the decision to award a penalty is correct or should one have been given for a foul, and look at yellow and red cards if there is a case of mistaken identity.

The Egypt Football Association (EFA) started by training Egyptian referees to take the total of 52 officials with valid VAR licenses.

The first time the Egypt Premier League used VAR was on March 5, 2020 in the match between Tala'ea El Gaish and Engineering for the Petroleum and Process Industries Sporting Club (ENPPI SC) at Gehaz El Reyada Stadium.

The oddity of Egyptian football

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