Embracing Technology: Tanzania’s Leap into VAR for Fair Play

Read in 3.13 mintues

Tanzania introduces VAR in NBC Premier League next season.
Tax exemptions proposed for importing VAR equipment.
Preparations underway for 2027 African Cup of Nations.
Focus on talent development and employment in sports.

A New Era in Tanzanian Football

In a significant move towards enhancing the integrity of football, the Tanzanian government has announced the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology in the NBC Premier League starting next season. This initiative aims to ensure fair and accurate decisions by referees, marking a pivotal shift in the country’s approach to sports officiating.

Official Announcement and Budgetary Provisions

The announcement came from Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba during the presentation of the 2024/25 National Budget Estimates at the Parliament in Dodoma. Highlighting the government’s commitment to modernizing football infrastructure, Nchemba stated, “In the next season of the NBC Premier League, we will start using Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to ensure fair decisions by referees on the field.”

Facilitating VAR Implementation: Tax Exemptions and Logistics

To support the implementation of VAR across all major stadiums, the Finance Minister proposed a tax exemption on the importation of VAR equipment and related accessories. This strategic move aims to make the technology accessible and ensure that it is operational in time for the upcoming football season. Nchemba remarked, “To ensure availability of VAR in all stadiums, I propose an exemption for importation of VAR machines and peripheral accessories. Clarification will be provided later. It is possible!”

Preparations for the 2027 African Cup of Nations

The adoption of VAR is part of broader preparations for the 2027 African Cup of Nations, which Tanzania will co-host with Uganda and Kenya. The government is undertaking extensive measures, including the construction of the Samia Football Stadium in Arusha, to ensure readiness for the prestigious event. This infrastructural development reflects Tanzania’s ambition to host a successful tournament and showcase its growing football capabilities on the continental stage.

Empowering the National Teams

Minister Nchemba also emphasized the importance of preparing the national teams to compete effectively in upcoming tournaments. He commended the Taifa Stars for qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the third time and the Twiga Stars for qualifying for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco in 2024. “I urge the Tanzania Football Federation to prepare our national team so that the trophy remains home,” he said, reflecting the nation’s aspirations for football glory.

Nurturing Talent and Boosting Employment

Beyond the immediate benefits of VAR, the government is committed to a holistic approach to sports development. Initiatives to identify and nurture talent from schools have been instrumental in creating employment opportunities and increasing income for players. This focus on grassroots development ensures a steady pipeline of talent for both domestic and international teams. “The Government recognises the role of sports, arts, and entertainment in promoting employment, especially to youth,” Nchemba noted.

Expanding Opportunities in Arts and Entertainment

In addition to sports, the Tanzanian government continues to support the arts and entertainment sectors. By linking local artists with international markets and safeguarding their copyrights, the government aims to enhance the global presence of Tanzanian talent. This strategy not only promotes cultural exchange but also contributes to the economic empowerment of artists. “The Government has continued to link Tanzanian artists with international markets through various meetings and events, while ensuring their copyrights are protected,” Nchemba highlighted.

Benefits of the project

Enhanced Fairness and Accuracy in Football: Introducing VAR technology will ensure more accurate and fair decisions by referees, reducing controversial calls and improving the overall integrity of the game.

Boost to Sports Infrastructure: The tax exemptions for importing VAR equipment and construction of new stadiums will significantly improve sports infrastructure, benefiting players and fans alike.

Increased Opportunities for Talent Development: Government initiatives to nurture talent and create employment in sports will empower youth and enhance the competitive edge of Tanzanian football teams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *