VAR is finally on its way to Scottish football with matches this season set to benefit from an extra set of eyes.
The system first came into use at the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia and was quickly taken up by the major leagues with Scotland one of the few countries not to have any form of VAR.
Celtic’s Europa League group matches have VAR coverage but it seems that the costs and training involved have prevented it from being adopted across the Scottish game.
Next Friday the SFA will host a summit where former FIFA referee Howard Webb will outline exactly what is involved in bringing Scottish football into the 21st century.
Speaking to the Glasgow Times, Ian Maxwell said:
VAR has been under discussion by the Scottish FA’s Professional Game Board since its introduction into the Laws of the Game in 2018. Scottish football took the view that it was be preferable to see the technology be refined, overcome inevitable teething problems and, naturally, become more cost-effective.
VAR is here to stay and in a short period its implementation has advanced significantly, while its set-up and maintenance costs have reduced. We are now at the point where we need to discuss and ideally agree on its introduction into Scottish football.
The Scottish FA believes it is necessary for the evolution of our domestic game, to provide additional support to our match officials and also to maximise their potential on the domestic, European and international stages.
Neil Doncaster added:
Given the costs involved and the potential effects on the natural flow of the game, it was always a sensible decision to monitor the introduction of VAR in other competitions before considering implementation in the cinch Premiership.
Now that there has been a meaningful bedding-in period in several leagues, now is a good time to look again at the benefits of the technology. We are keen to hear the views of the clubs, officials and fans and look forward to discussions over the next few months.
Not every incident on the pitch will be covered by VAR but every goal will be reviewed as well as goal-mouth incidents which should prevent a repeat of the horrendous decisions at the 2015 Scottish Cup semi-final between Celtic and Inverness Caley Thistle.