VAR to be introduced in Scottish Premiership

Video Assistant Referees will be introduced in the Scottish Premiership from the middle of next season.

Despite the system only being implemented in the top flight, all 42 Scottish Professional Football League clubs voted on the proposal via e-mail on Tuesday.

The technology will be implemented after December’s World Cup in Qatar, with Premiership clubs bearing the cost of VAR on a sliding scale.

The system will see a minimum of six manned cameras at each game to aid a selection of video assistant referees who are all current or recently retired Category 1 officials.

A number of VAR trials have already taken place at youth matches in recent weeks, while the Scottish FA’s head of refereeing operations Crawford Allan has previously insisted his officials are ahead of schedule in their preparations.

“From a refereeing perspective, whenever VAR comes in we will be ready,” he told Sky Sports News.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 02: Media event with referees receiving VAR training at Hampden Park, on March 02, in Glasgow, Scotland. ..Pictured: Crawford Allan (Head of Referee Operations - Scottish FA) (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

SFA head of refereeing operations Crawford Allan has backed the introduction of VAR

“We’ve been doing our training, and since December, we are actually slightly ahead of where we thought we would be.

“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.”

How did the vote go?

Despite VAR only being used in the top flight, all 42 SPFL clubs were asked to vote at the general meeting.

Several Premiership clubs had already publicly backed the idea but the motion was only formally passed on Tuesday after the minimum threshold of 75 per cent of clubs in the Premiership and Championship, plus three-quarters of League One and Two sides combined voted in favour of VAR.

What will VAR be used for?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 02: Media event with referees receiving VAR training at Hampden Park, on March 02, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

VAR will be used in the Scottish Premiership next season

We have seen VAR implemented all over the world across many different leagues so you might know what to expect.

With extra referees reviewing clear and obvious errors, ultimately it is there to give officials more support and ensure any clear and obvious errors are rectified.

The SFA system will be identical to the one used by football’s world governing body, FIFA, with the principle of “minimum interference, maximum benefit”.

In addition, 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.

Who will pay for it?

Premiership clubs will pay for VAR with the percentage differentiating based on their final league position.

The training for officials will however has been carried out by the SFA, with Allan adding that 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.