“VAR was absent?” Football fans express disappointment in Rivers United CAF Confederation Cup exit

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The CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final showdown between Rivers United and USM Alger, saw the absence of Video Assistant Referee (VAR), Soccernet.ng reports.

The absence of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the match between Rivers United and USM Alger has raised eyebrows in African football.

The match, which saw USM Alger emerge victorious, was marred by accusations of cheating and foul play.

The second leg of the tie played in Algeria saw Rivers United got knocked out by defending champions, USM Alger with a 2-1 aggregate score.

The first leg ended 1-0 in favour of Rivers United but they were unable to keep that advantage in the reverse fixture which ended 2-0 in favour of USMA.

While VAR has become a standard feature in top-tier football competitions worldwide, its absence in such a crucial match raised serious concerns about fairness in African football.

The use of VAR in football serves to review and correct decisions made by on-field referees, ensuring greater accuracy and fairness in officiating matches.

However, the absence of this crucial tool in the Rivers United versus USM Alger clash left many questioning the credibility of the competition and the competence of CAF.


Without the oversight and assistance of VAR, allegations emerged of questionable decisions that favoured the home team (USMA), raising suspicions of unfair tactics employed to manipulate the outcome.

It was even more absurd considering the fact that the first leg played at River’s United home had the presence of VAR.

The lack of VAR in the second leg undermines the integrity of the game of football ans also reflects poorly on CAF’s commitment to maintaining high standards of officiating in its competitions.

The decision to proceed with the match without VAR despite its proven benefits and widespread use in modern football was met with widespread criticism and condemnation.

Many voiced their outrage and disappointment at the apparent disregard for fairness and transparency, calling for accountability and reform within CAF.

The absence of VAR in such a significant match affects the outcome of the game and also erodes trust and confidence in the integrity of African football competitions.

While Rivers United are left to face the disappointment of their CAF Confederation Cup exit, questions linger about the need for greater oversight and regulation in African football to ensure that future matches are officiated fairly and transparently.

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