Politics

SPFL clubs to cast vote on whether to introduce VAR in Scottish Premiership later this month


The resolution requires 75% support of all 42 member clubs across the four cinch divisions

SPFL clubs have been asked to vote on whether to introduce VAR to the Scottish Premiership later this month.

All 42 member clubs of the Scottish Professional Football League will have the chance to cast their say on April 19 as to whether the technology is brought into Scotland’s top-flight.

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If the resolution is passed, the league’s governing body aim to have VAR in place following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

All the latest news and transfer speculation from around the SPFL and Scottish football. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

A statement read: “The Scottish Professional Football League can today confirm that there will be a vote on 19 April on whether to introduce VAR to the cinch Premiership.

“The SPFL has this afternoon circulated a resolution to all 42 member clubs, who will be asked to vote on its introduction at the SPFL General Meeting on that date.

“The resolution required 75% of cinch Premiership clubs, 75% of clubs in the cinch Championship and 75% of clubs in cinch Leagues 1 and 2 combined to vote in favour.

“If the resolution is passed, the target implementation date for VAR will be following conclusion of the Qatar World Cup 2022, which takes place between 21 November and 18 December this year.”

What we know about VAR

Since the 2018 World Cup in Russia, VAR technology has established itself as an integral part of football, making crucial decision during matches.

It was introduced to help referees limit errors by spotting what they aren’t able to see and is now being used frequently in major leagues around the world.

Better decision making – The decisions of a referee often carries great significance and prior to VAR it was not possible for officials to overturn a decision following an incident. VAR has enabled referees to have a second chance to make the right decision after an initial error.

Referees in Scotland have gone through VAR training and could implement the system from the SPFL restart if the majority of clubs are in favour. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Avoiding controversial decisions – VAR has helped to eradicate major talking points and uphold fairness in football. Referees can make decisions that are fair for everyone involved. Without fairness, it is impossible for fans to enjoy the game without feeling a sense of injustice.

Added excitement during games – VAR has played a massive role in heightening the drama and tense nature of a big decision, keeping fans in suspense as they await a final decision. Some incidents require an in-depth look, ensuring a further rise in excitement and anticipation levels.

Maintaining player discipline – There should always be high standards of discipline in sport, but this is a point of concern in professional football. It’s possible for referees to miss vital moments that can define the outcome of a game. For example, when a player dives inside the penalty area. Innovative technology is important to clear up these decisions if a match official is unsure.

Improving the game – There will always be areas that require adjustments for something to be effective. VAR technology acts as a major building block that will help elevate the game to another level if used correctly. Referee don’t make the right calls all the time, but VAR makes it possible to crease the value of the game.

Time wastage – This is a vital resource in football games. As we all know, VAR decisions can take time to resolve as they involve careful analysis of an incident. This subsequently slows down the momentum of a game and fans can grow increasingly frustrated due to the time it takes to come up with a final outcome, especially if it goes against their team.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Lack of transparency – VAR can bring a lot of positives but there is a feeling among supporters that there is a lack of clearness regarding the decision that a referee makes. When an incident is under review, the VAR team and referee engage in deliberations before reaching a final conclusion. That conversation often remains hidden to the public, unlike in rugby. Fans would like to hear an explanation publicly as to why a certain decision was made.

Not always accurate – The technology can still get big decisions wrong and create unnecessary controversy, making it unfair for almost everyone connected to a football club. VAR acts as a tool for making decision based on evidence but the VAR team’s interpretation can still in incorrect.

Referees rely more on VAR – A match official’s decision remains of upmost importance. Football relies on the experience and expertise of referees to make tough decisions during games. VAR’s introduction could lead to referees losing confidence in their ability to officiate matches. Their dependence on the technology could affect the way they make decisions. Referees should always take control of games without feeling overly influenced by technology.



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