Senegal introduces VAR for traditional wrestling sport

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Senegal has introduced a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to help make decisions during traditional wrestling matches in the country.

The VAR is a match official whose role is to monitor video coverage of a live match and playback where necessary to assist the referee in the wrestling ring with technical decisions.

This has become essential for the popular traditional sport in Senegal which involves millions of CFA francs as prize money, to ensure discipline and order.

According to Super Sport, the move follows previous calls by wrestling fans in the West African country for the introduction of a VAR just like it is in football.

The referee monitors two screens which are projected from cameras recording the action in the ring and calls for a replay if a decision by the referee is disputed by any of the wrestlers.

President of the referees’ committee Sitor Nduor explained that the VAR will help resolve issues of violence that have emerged in the past as a result of disagreements about the results of a match.

"Sometimes we had a disputed verdict, which caused confusion and (as a result) people broke chairs and destroyed public property because they weren't happy with the result that had been given.

"In this kind of situation if we can review the footage and declare a winner, but also if the public can see the images, that makes our task easier and it allows the spectators to go home with more peace of mind," Nduor was quoted by Super Sport.

Vice President of the Senegalese Wrestling Association (CNG) Maissa Ndiaye on his part said the VAR is a source of relief for referees of the sport.

The VAR seeks to bring clarity to wrestling by reviewing video footage to determine the victor or loser of a match.

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