For about five years now, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology has been used in big international tournaments and domestic leagues such as the Premier League and La Liga among others.
However, on the African continent, many countries are still behind as VAR is not in use. Morocco and Egypt are the two African countries that have implemented VAR in their respective Premier Divisions.
Nonetheless, a bizarre incident happened in the Egyptian lower division where VAR is not in use. A referee, Mohamed Farouk disallowed a goal after watching a replay on a spectator’s mobile phone.
Al-Nasr thought they had scored a late equaliser away to Suez in a second-division match last Friday, but Farouk used the spectator’s phone to watch a replay after the home side protested there was a handball.
After several minutes on the touchline, reviewing the video on a fan’s phone, Farouk overturned the goal.
The Egyptian Football Association said in a statement that they decided to suspend the entire refereeing staff for an “indefinite period”.
“The committee decided to investigate the incident when Mohamed Farouk, the referee of the match, used a mobile phone to review one of the footage of the match’s events,” the Egyptian FA said.