Sanni Zubair, President of the Nigeria Referees Association, has indicated plans to introduce video assistant referees (VAR) in the Nigeria Professional Football League starting from the 2023/24 season. This announcement comes as the new season is set to commence with the opening match between 3SC and Plateau United in Ibadan.
Zubair believes that VAR implementation will enhance referee performance, especially considering that most league matches will now be streamed using newly acquired AI cameras. The NRA President mentioned ongoing discussions regarding VAR and expressed optimism about its eventual introduction during the season.
Additionally, the Nigeria Football Federation’s President, Ibrahim Gusau, had previously announced plans to establish VAR facilities in selected regional stadiums across the country, a move that the NRA eagerly anticipates.
Zubair emphasized the importance of keeping up with technological advancements in football officiating and assured that referees would receive proper training to align with global standards. As a retired FIFA-badged referee, he raised expectations for improved officiating in the upcoming season following a 10-day seminar to enhance the technical and physical abilities of referees and assistant referees, along with updates on the laws of the game.