Scottish Premiership benefits from VAR with 8% increase in correct decisions as SFA claims 'it has worked'

Scottish FA chief Ian Maxwell has said VAR "has worked” with the Scottish Premiership benefiting from an eight per cent increase in the success rate for big decisions in games since its introduction.

The technology has been operational since the top-flight meeting between Hibs and St Johnstone on October 21. It can assist referees in the event of a clear and obvious error or a serious missed incident in relation to four instances; straight red cards, penalty area incidents, goals and mistaken identity.

Referees have an accuracy rate of 90 per cent for those four elements with the global accuracy around 91 per cent. The intervention of VAR has brought it up to 98 per cent of correct decisions.

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When the technology was being rolled out, Crawford Allan, head of referee operations at the Scottish FA, asked for patience as the officials got used to using it. The majority of VAR checks have been silent with just 17 on-field reviews from 223 checks. The longest on-field review was just short of six minutes and the average is at 2.33 minutes. When taking all checks into account the average is 51 seconds.

"It has done what it was meant to have done, it’s improved a number of decisions,” Maxwell said. “It’s not perfect no-one said it was going to be, but it’s working and it’s helping the referees get more decisions right which is why we brought it in.

"Obviously there has been a bit of frustration about the time it has taken. It’s a new process, nobody was entirely sure how it was going to work. If you look at the stats we are not a million miles away from the time it takes VAR globally to reach a decision. It does take time to get it right.

“Nobody wants anything to take any longer than it needs to but when you look at the stats we are only a little bit slower than the standard at the moment. But the managers have been positive. In the initial stages we expected it to be under scrutiny but I think we need everyone to take a step back and understand that actually it is working.”

VAR has helped referees get 98 per cent of the big decisions correct since its introduction. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

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