Video assistant referees (VAR) will be used at all 52 matches at this month’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for the first time, Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced.
Unlike the 2019 edition in Egypt where the technology was introduced by the continental body from the quarter-finals, VAR will be used in all matches at this year’s tournament that kicks off in Cameroon on Sunday.
“With CAF advancing with plans not only to improve the image of refereeing but also produce world-class match officials in Africa, the implementation of VAR in all 52 matches is a step in the right direction,” CAF said in a statement.
CAF has selected 24 referees, 31 assistant referees, and eight video assistant referees from 36 countries for the eagerly awaited tournament in Cameroon.
Two officials from North and Central American and Caribbean football confederation, Concacaf will feature. Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar and Mexican VAR official, Fernando Guerrero, will also be included as part of an inter-confederation skills exchange program.
Elsewhere, the winners of the Nations Cup will now receive prize money of $5 million, an increase of $500,000 from 2019.
According to the organisers, the runners-up will pocket $2.75m, while beaten semi-finalists and quarter-finalists will receive $2.2m and $1.175m respectively.
The Nations Cup kicks off on Sunday with hosts Cameroon taking on Burkina Faso in their opening Group A match.