By Scott Young
The discussion around video assistant referee (VAR) in Scotland has gained mass traction over the past number of weeks with the talk of the technology being introduced into the Scottish premiership being escalated.
This was backed up due to several controversial decisions in the SPFL. Including a ‘soft’ penalty given for Rangers in their comeback 2-2 draw vs Aberdeen. As well as a ‘blatant’ handball by Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli vs Motherwell that was not given by the on-field referee.
Former head of the Glasgow referee’s association Kenneth Harvey believes that lack of experience in the referees is the issue when it comes to the officiating in Scotland:
“Promoting the referees too quickly, when I was involved many years ago, they had to do four to five seasons as a junior referee before they had could go up to ‘class two’ which meant they were allowed to do reserve games.
“Junior football doesn’t exist now really in Scotland, it was the equivalent to non-league football in England, it gave you good experience as you were moving up the grades, but I think they are moving them too quickly nowadays.”
We have seen the positives and failures of Var in the game down south as well as even with the big two in Scotland during their respective stints in the Europa League.
Most recently we saw it used in the Rangers vs Brøndby IF match when Kemar Roofe scored a goal that was originally ruled out for offside, but the VAR official overturned the decision and put Steven Gerrard’s men 2-0 up.
Harvey believes that VAR would, overall, help the referees but some issues need to be ironed out:
“I have no problem with the theory of VAR, I think the theory of VAR is excellent, I think the interpretation of it sometimes, just is not correct, I find it hard to believe that someone is offside because their toe was in front of somebody, or their finger, or even their nose was in front of somebody.
“As far as I know, the rules haven’t changed as much, as if you’re in line with the second last defender then you are onside, but your body can be n line and your toe be offside. I think that’s a bad interpretation”