Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou hits out over VAR teething problems - 'if not ready, don't start'

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has expressed frustration over the teething problems that have shrouded the introduction of VAR in Scottish football.

Postecoglou believes the new technology is becoming the “star of the show” following more controversy involving his side in midweek as he questioned the decision to bring in VAR before all the issues had been ironed out.

Celtic winger Jota had a goal disallowed for offside during the 2-1 win at Motherwell on Wednesday following a VAR check despite the nearside camera failing to provide a suitable image. Instead, a camera situated in the opposite end of the ground was used – with the footage appearing inconclusive – but the SFA referees department clarified that the technology allows offside decisions to be made from the cameras on either 18-yard line.

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Motherwell were also aggrieved that there was no review of the build-up to what proved to be Celtic’s winner after Sead Haksabanovic appeared to divert Matt Penney’s throw-in from off the pitch.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou believes VAR is becoming the 'star of the show' in Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Postecoglou said: “For me, it’s not about decisions. I still think with VAR there will be contentious decisions. For me, it’s the process.

“It’s why I was uncomfortable with the fanfare when we introduced it. It was the talk of the town as if it was brand new. Australia, which everyone seems to think is a backwater, had VAR four years ago. It’s not new. Referees in our league who referee in Europe have used it.

“We made it out to be a really big thing with big expectations. Now we are saying ‘expect teething problems’. I don’t know why there would be teething problems for something that’s been around for four or five years.

“If they’re not ready now, don’t start, just wait till we’re ready.”

Postecoglou had been frustrated with the time taken for VAR checks in Celtic’s win over Dundee United days earlier.

“For me, it’s not about decisions,” he said. “They are saying Jota was offside, they have evidence of that, whatever that evidence is, it’s with them and that’s fine. Even if they’re wrong, I don’t care, that’s the decision. There’s plenty of wrong decisions. For me, it’s the intrusion it has on the game.

“Look, human beings are involved. The fact that a camera is not pointing to where it should be, I’m kind of hoping they went through this process before and said ‘these are the protocols’. You have got to allow human error within that context.

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“VAR, we understand it’s part of the game, we have introduced it, let’s get on with it, but don’t make it the star of the show. Unfortunately at the moment that’s what it is.

“I don’t think it helps anyone, not the referees, the clubs, players, coaches or supporters, to have VAR as the focus of discussion.”

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