Scottish FA head of refereeing operations Crawford Allan says the introduction of VAR in the Scottish Premiership is much-needed; Allan says VAR should be viewed as an investment rather than a cost for the game, adding his referees will be ready for its introduction this calendar year
Wednesday 2 March 2022 18:07, UK
Scottish football could be ready for the introduction of VAR in the Premiership before the end of the year, according to the Scottish FA's head of refereeing operations Crawford Allan.
Allan said the SPFL and clubs are mulling over a range of options that have been presented to them by his team, but insists his referees are ahead of schedule in their preparations for VAR and could be ready for its implementation by the time this winter's FIFA World Cup in Qatar comes around.
"From a refereeing perspective, whenever VAR comes in we will be ready," he told Sky Sports News.
"I've previously indicated that the opportunity of a window may have been after the World Cup. We've been doing our training, and since December, we are actually slightly ahead of where we thought we would be.
"From a refereeing perspective, we could be ready slightly ahead of that. However, the key point is in terms of getting the infrastructure in place with the clubs in terms of the decision-making processes. That's going to drive the timeline that we have got to then test all the infrastructure we have got at stadiums.
"Until that final decision on the model is accepted and agreed, then that final timeline is not something we can put our hat on just yet."
The costs involved will likely be a factor when it comes to which type of VAR will eventually be implemented in the top division of Scottish football.
Allan, though, says when it comes to allocating funds for VAR, it should be looked upon as an investment rather than a cost.
"Cost is an interesting one. If I was moving Scottish football forward - and I am part of the football family - I'd like to think of it as an investment in Scottish football rather than a cost," he said.
"If we can drive investment in the game and get the right balance in terms of the model [that would be ideal]. We've given the SPFL and clubs a range of options in the last eight or nine months, and the clubs are looking at that.
"We want the model that gives us the best decision-making, purely from a selfish point of view, in terms of refereeing. I think that will help because it will help get the right decisions at the end of the day.
"In terms of key decision-making, referees get on average 92 or 93 per cent of the key decisions correct and it's been proven that VAR takes that up to 99 per cent.
"You're never going to get the 100 and football will always be about opinions, but that 99, I'm sure we'd all agree, is better than the 92 or 93 per cent at the moment."
We have seen VAR implemented all over the world across many different leagues so you might know what to expect.
With an extra referee reviewing clear and obvious errors, ultimately it is there to give officials more support.
The baselines set out by FIFA for when a review may take place are limited to penalties, red cards, goal situations and any case of mistaken identity would be when a review may take place.