VAR in Scottish football: The end of controversial decisions for fans to argue about? Aye right – Scotsman comment

For some fans, it is one of the great pleasures of the beautiful game: the thunderous and cathartic expression of derision and contempt about the most appalling refereeing decision in history… at least until next week, that is.

Referees receive VAR training at Hampden Park (Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS)
Referees receive VAR training at Hampden Park (Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS)

However, from Friday, October 21, all that is set to change with the long-awaited introduction of the fabled ‘VAR’ – aka Video Assistant Referees – as Hibs and St Johnstone become the first sides to experience this brave new world in a Premiership match.

From now on, goals, straight red cards, penalty area incidents and cases of mistaken identity will be able to be scrutinised from every angle and in slow motion, enabling the game’s most important decisions to be absolutely, 100 per cent, spot on every time.

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Sorry folks, those in need of an excuse to vent may need to console themselves with the chance to point out a throw-in was taken too far up the pitch, or some such. And congratulations to Scottish football, problems solved.

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If only life was so simple.

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For, as many will already know, while VAR probably has led to better decisions in the other leagues where it has been adopted, it has also produced a whole new raft of only slightly different arguments.

Shouldn’t VAR have intervened? Why didn’t VAR intervene? Why is this taking so long? How could they not see that? VAR is killing the game! Scrap VAR! No, keep VAR! And so on, and so on.

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For all the advances in technology, even to the point of Terminator-style referee robots, we suspect there will always be more than enough for football fans to argue about.

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