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Postpone VAR Until Start Of Next Season

Date: 12th October 2022

Scottish football will see the introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology later on this month. The possible earmarked date is the 21st of October in a clash between Hibs and St Johnstone. 

Earlier this week, SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell stated that according to those in the know in UEFA “the first three months are horrendous”. 

Now I’ve never been a fan of VAR’s introduction but the timing of this starting point has become even more bewildering to me. 

We are already 9 or 10 games into our top flight season and we are due to take a World Cup break after the 12th of November. It makes zero sense to bring in VAR at such a stage. 

Surely it would make more sense to have such technology introduced at the start of a season, when every team is in the same position on nil points. 

Just looking at how VAR has been implement in England, Italy and the Champions League I can totally agree with Maxwell’s assessment. If anything I fear the SFA man may underestimate it’s disruption. We still see dodgy VAR calls, almost on a weekly basis, throughout competitions in Europe that use it.

Scottish football fans have had enough of disruption in the last few years. They don’t need an extra distraction to cause conflict between fanbases.

We still don’t have professional officials and we still don’t have goal-line technology which is proven to work, yet we are willing to gamble a fair bit of our cash and throw it at a divisive piece of equipment that doesn’t have a proven track record of working consistently.

Yes Scotland has seen a fair amount of poor officiating decisions this season but let’s not forget that those people making those poor decisions will still be the ones using VAR. Starting mid-season will only make things worse for those embattled refereeing teams.

If the SFA really want a better, more consistent standard of refereeing, they should bring in a professional model that will give all officials a better of chance of getting the big decisions right. They could also bring in proven methods like the goal-line technology. 

If The SFA are determined to bring in VAR then so be it but at least do it at a better time. Mid-way through a campaign wouldn’t be the right time. Bringing it in now could hamper a team’s chances of winning a title, securing a European place or saving themselves from relegation. 

With Ian Maxwell’s recent admission The SFA can’t deny knowing this to be the case ahead of time! Why risk so much at such a pivotal point? It really doesn’t make any sense. 

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