Referee John Beaton admits VAR in Scottish football cannot come soon enough - 'quicker the better'

Whistler John Beaton has admitted VAR will be a "massive boost" for referees in Scotland as the system edges closer to being implemented north of the border.

Video assistant referees have been in operation in the English Premier League since 2018 and it is hoped that the technology can be introduced in the Scottish top flight during the 2022-23 season.

Premiership clubs will have to shoulder much of the cost of adopting VAR themselves, which are reported to be in the region of £120,000 per club – double what was initially projected.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

One of the reasons for the increase in costs is the number of cameras that would be required at each game with up to six manned cameras needed and two fixed.

John Beaton pictured during a VAR training session at Hampden Park, on March 02, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Category one whistler Beaton says Scotland’s referees are looking forward to the arrival of VAR, and insists it cannot come soon enough.

"I think it's a massive boost for us. Everybody is excited," he told Sky Sports. "We've been training on it now for a few months and getting ourselves ready.

"I think you can see with the scrutiny on decisions and the amount of replays that are available for everyone it makes sense that we can use that in real-time during a match.

"The quicker we get that in the better. All the referees will be ready for that and we're looking forward to it being part of the game."

Refereeing decisions in Scotland remain a hot topic of debate and Beaton hopes that the introduction of VAR can take some of the pressure away from referees.

"It's just human nature if you make a mistake you analyse it and wonder where it's went wrong. Inevitably you'll make another and sometimes it can snowball like that,” he told Radio Clyde.

"To come off a match and to know that even if you do make a mistake, it has been corrected, and it's not affected the outcome of the match – that's critical.

"We don't want to be the talking point on radio shows or on the analysis on TV packages. We want people to be talking about the game and hopefully with the introduction of VAR it maybe takes away a wee bit of the focus on refereeing decisions."

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.