Columnists

If you don’t like VAR, consult MAR

Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
IF YOU are a soccer freak, you would know what’s causing controversy at the World Cup in Russia.It’s not local women being warned to avoid sleeping with foreigners, of course, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Don’t worry, Janny Sikazwe, Zambia’s FIFA referee at the World Cup, is not the one in the video.
If you’ve been watching the World Cup games in Russia, you’ve probably seen referees stopping play to go and view a video.
Sometimes it seems as if they are taking a break to go to the ‘gents’.
Of course, they are not trying to spot an accused witch like some local witch-finders do with their mirrors at the shrines.
If anything, it’s Bola na VAR as opposed to Bola na lesa.
The referees are consulting football ancestral spirits as to why African teams have been conceding in the last minutes, making them exit the World Cup in the first round.
Actually, it’s not like that, but if you ask me, it would be nice to have Mirror Assistant Referee (MAR), our own version of VAR at the World Cup.
Of course, all witch-finders from the hood would be at the World Cup to counter VAR technology, which sometimes has been against African teams.
Take for instance a handball which should have earned Nigeria a penalty against Argentina?
The MAR would have confirmed it to be a penalty in favour of Nigeria unlike what the VAR revealed to the referee.
The MAR would not lie. If you did not know, witch-finders’ mirrors are thought to have special powers and are more likely to be believed by people in the hood than VAR.
Don’t mind the committee which would select referees who will act exclusively as Mirror Assistant Referees (MARs) during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
As Dr Masamba Asiyana (herbs are different) would tell you, exorcism mirrors in the hood can reflect anything, including what made Lionel Messi miss a penalty.
Based on their findings in their mirrors, witch-finders would say Messi missed the penalty because he refused to play for Zambia in the COSAFA Castle Cup.
Trust me, the MAR would be a revelation at the World Cup. It would also disclose what caused Germany to be beaten by South Korea to exit the World Cup.
Forget about the octopuses which predicted winners at previous World Cups, MAR would show everything, including how far some referees got to influence the outcome of some games.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have MAR reflect Neymar diving to induce a referee’s decision.
Of course, it would be virtually impossible for some referees to go against African teams in their decisions after consulting MAR.
However, let me consult Mirror Assistant Referee in the hood to see whether some VAR decisions were fair on some African teams.
It’s an amazing technology, and if you don’t believe me, just go to a shrine near you, remove your shoes at the entrance – put some money in a plate and watch the witch-finder consult MAR for you.
Trust me, by the time you leave the shrine, you would understand why MAR should have been used at the World Cup for African teams.
I guess all African teams would love to use MAR in place of VAR. You may also wish to know that VAR is an acronym for Very Awful Refereeing (VAR).
But irrespective of people’s preferences of technology in the hood, many men – and some women – are extremely crazy about football at the World Cup. I know this because I am one of them back in the hood.
bjboydphiri@yahoo.com


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