Scotland’s clubs have now voted overwhelmingly in favour of introducing VAR, with only 1 of the 42 teams voting against the proposal. The first games using the system in the Scottish game will be early next year, after the Qatar World Cup. But as Celtic legend, John Hartson, openly points out, there is still one major issue that needs to be resolved.
Hartson didn’t hold back when it came to considering how VAR would work in Scotland. He highlighted the existing issue of referees and the clubs that they support.
It comes just days after a much criticised performance in the Scottish Cup semi-final from Bobby Madden. Most Celtic fans didn’t feel the referee’s performance had a bearing on the end result but it did end up to questions being raised.
Hartson is in favour of introducing VAR but sees a real issue when it comes to its implementation. And he appears to have an interesting solution in mind. While speaking on The Go Radio Football Show and as reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic legend said:
“VAR has to come in because it will help the referees.
“As long as we get the right people sitting behind the VAR. Maybe people that come up from London, who have not got any allegiances to any football clubs in Scotland.
“Because otherwise your’e going to have the same problems. You’re going to get decisions and people will be making all sorts of things up – ‘who does this guy support, where do his loyalties lie?’.
“It will go on and on, it will run. But I have to say Bobby Madden’s performance at the weekend was dreadful.”
Celtic legend provides interesting solution to VAR problem in Scotland
It makes sense to implement VAR in Scotland, with other leading leagues and competitions having already done it around Europe. It is important to keep recognising though that it isn’t the complete answer to all the issues.
Hartson has called out one issue. It is also worth reminding ourselves that VAR is limited to reviewing only a very limited range of scenarios during play. It wouldn’t be called upon to review many of the strange decisions that are taken during the run of play constantly.
The critical decision to introduce VAR may have been taken but there are many more decisions needed to ensure it is implemented properly. In particular we should all be asking what else will happen alongside VAR to improve the standard of refereeing in Scottish football and to reduce the inconsistencies we see on a regular basis.