Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: VAR a complete joke and killing football – Kerr on Guinea-Bissau’s disallowed goal

12:55 SAST 2022/01/16
Frederic Mendy of Guinea-Bissau reacts in disappointment after referee Pacifique Ndabihawenimana.
The British tactician irked by the video system insisting it should be dropped and the four match officials allowed to do their job

Moroka Swallows FC coach Dylan Kerr has claimed the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is killing football in the world after it disallowed a what appeared to be a clean goal scored by Guinea-Bissau in their 1-0 Africa Cup of Nations defeat against Egypt on Saturday.

The Pharaohs, who had lost their Group D opener against Nigeria, took the lead courtesy of Mohamed Salah in the 69th minute but the Djurtus found the back of the net in the 84th minute through Mama Balde, only for Burundian referee Pacifique Ndabihawenimana to cancel it later after consulting with VAR.

It was a big relief for Egypt as they held on to pick up their first three points in the clash at Roumde Adjia Stadium and stay on course to reach the knockout stage in Cameroon.

The decision to disallow Balde’s goal has, however, irked Kerr, who insists the Djurtus were denied a legitimate goal.

What did Kerr say?

“VAR is shocking,” Kerr told GOAL from his base in South Africa. “Guinea-Bissau scored a legitimate goal, it was a clear goal and this whole VAR thing is a complete joke at the Afcon, at Premier League, Fifa, and even at Uefa world football.

“You have killed football and I don’t care how much money football is worth greedy owners have killed this game.”

Asked to explain why he thinks Guinea-Bissau’s goal deserved to count, Kerr, who has handled a number of teams in Africa including Kenya’s Gor Mahia and Tanzania’s Simba SC, said: “Yes there was nothing wrong it was a 50/50 football tussle of strength and again VAR gets it wrong.

‘VAR making worse decisions’

“In my opinion, they don’t get it right they’re making worse decisions than the referee. It’s supposed to help the game but more than ever the referral is wrong.”

"Football is a competitive game. I’m sorry I grew up when football was all about the game not about money. A goal is scored and we have to wait to see if it’s a goal if it will count, or it is off?

“We have four officials in every match, let them do their job.”

This is the first time in history that Caf is using VAR to oversee all the 52 matches at Afcon. Previously, Caf used the system starting from the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt in 2019.

In the current tournament, some of the notable decisions the video system has decided include the penalty awarded to Cameroon during the tournament’s Group A opener, which striker Vincent Aboubakar converted to help the Indomitable Lions come from a goal down and beat Burkina Faso 2-1 at Olembe Stadium.

On Saturday, the video system also awarded a penalty to Sudan, who scored but lost 3-1 against Nigeria in a Group D battle at Roumde Adjia Stadium.