While football federations in Europe and the Americas are yet to be convinced about FIFA’s implementation of goal line technology and video assistant referee (VAR) systems, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) plans to use both technologies in 2018 during the Total African Nations Championship. During a CAF meeting in Cairo, officials resolved to roll out both technologies for the matches that will decide the next round of this continental tournament, which features national teams with a 100 percent African lineup, meaning that players are not signed with clubs abroad. The knockout and final rounds of the African Nations Championship will be hosted by Morocco in January.
David Dein, a former executive of the celebrated Arsenal club of the English Premier League was invited to the aforementioned meeting to discuss implementation of VAR systems and the digital cameras required by goal line technology. Mr. Dein was very supportive of the Confederation’s decision, explaining that FIFA needs feedback on these technologies since they are expected to be used in Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
Officials from the Morocco football federation have stated that they are ready to welcome the 16 national teams that will be playing in the historic cities of Agadir, Casablanca, Marrakesh and Tangier. It should be noted that Morocco has committed to a speedy preparation for the tournament after the Kenyan football federation failed to show that it was ready to host the tournament. Along with Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Rwanda, Morocco is considered to be one of the strongest national teams in the competition. The Moroccan football federation is hoping that hosting the African Nations Championship will put the country in the running to host a future FIFA World Cup.
Football analysts have commented that the groups in the initial round of the tournament, which were formed by means of a random draw, are evenly matched. Betting analysts are seeing wagers stacking up in favor of Burkina Faso, a national team that has been a sensation in the Cup of Nations as well as in the qualification matches for the FIFA World Cup. Scouts from European leagues will also be paying attention so that they can spot talented players who may sign with major clubs in countries such as England, France and Italy.