The Scottish Premiership, and select competitions across the SPFL, is bringing in VAR a couple of months ahead of schedule, the league announced on Wednesday.
In a vote back in April, 41 out of 42 clubs voted to bring VAR to Scotland. They agreed that the change would come after the upcoming World Cup. However, the officials decided to use the technology this month.
Scottish clubs hounded the SPFL to bring in VAR quicker than previously agreed upon. FIFA, the world’s governing body of the sport, agreed with the decision and gave the green light.
SPFL Chief Operating Officer Calum Beattie explained the decision to introduce VAR ahead of schedule. “When 41 out of 42 clubs voted at our General Meeting in April to introduce VAR into the cinch Premiership, we said that the technology would be introduced after the World Cup,” Beattie claimed in a statement on Wednesday.
“Our clubs made clear that they wished for VAR to be introduced as soon as possible and the Scottish FA deserve real credit for being able to make this announcement ahead of schedule.”
Referees have seemingly been under the microscope more and more in recent years. Nevertheless, Crawford Allan, Head of Referee Operations in Scotland, has applauded the decision. “We are delighted to have received approval to introduce VAR in Scottish football,” Allan stated.
“As we have seen across the world, VAR has helped ensure a higher percentage of on-field refereeing decisions are accurate and that is a principle our match officials support.”
Adding VAR to SPFL
However, the SPFL does not plan on using VAR in the same fashion as other countries. According to the official statement by SPFL, the organization does not list offsides as part of the VAR criteria.
Instead, its sole purpose lies in red card situations, penalty area incidents, goals, and cases of mistaken identity. Scottish stadiums will now have a minimum of six cameras to help ensure as many quality viewing angles as possible.
Along with league matches, VAR arrives in the Scottish Cup and League Cup semi-finals and finals. The first match to involve VAR will be an October 21st game between Hibernian and St. Johnstone.
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