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SFA accused of penny pinching over VAR but happy to hand out Jozo ban

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The SFA have been accused of dragging their feet over Video Assistant Referees.

Last season BT Sport offered a free trial at their matches but that never even brought a response from the men in charge at Hampden.

VAR was used at the World Cup Finals in 2018 and will be used at every EPL match in the season ahead with countries such as Georgia and Malta also bringing in VAR to reduce honest mistakes.

Last season Scott McKenna, Dolly Menga, Steven McLean, Ryan Kent and Darnell Johnson were all given retrospective red cards for incidents in matches against Celtic, using VAR will allow punishment at the time.

The SFA aren’t against VAR decisions with Jozo Simunovic sitting out Celtic’s first two domestic games after getting a VAR red card in a pre-season friendly against St Gallen.

FIFA referee Bobby Madden told The Sun:

We met to discuss where we are and the SFA have taken the first step of declaring a note of interest to IFAB. Funding is the main issue — who will fund it, the league or the SFA? How would training be framed, because there’s extensive training involved?

The sooner we start it the better for the refereeing movement, but I understand for the SFA and the SPFL the big discussion is ‘who’s going to pay for this?’ From talking to other referees around Europe, it can be anything from £3,000 to £5,000 for every game.

We have to establish the true cost for Scotland and take things from there but while there’s work to be done about how it’ll be financed, there’s a lot that can be done in the background. The referees would start it immediately. Willie (Collum) and I are the only two currently trained but we need to look at resources, a training plan and build it around that.

For me, the biggest thing is the credibility of the league. VAR’s being used in countries like Malta and Georgia and, if you’re sitting watching English, Spanish and German matches with VAR then flick to Scottish football where we don’t have it, it affects the credibility of the league.

The ruling bodies are looking for people who have proved they can use it successfully. I did the Under-21 European Championships in the summer and there were VAR decisions — especially tight offsides — that proved to me the system really works.

Collum and his assistant Douglas Ross MP were both heavily criticised for decisions made during the Elgin City v Hibs match last night, BT Sport reported that Ross apologised to Hibs at half-time for mistakenly disallowing a goal for offside.

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