Scottish football boss calls for VAR-lite as he speaks on Rangers penalty call

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has called for Scottish football to consider a stripped-down version of VAR and put an end to "soft" spot-kicks in the Premiership.

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin. Picture: SNS

There have been 63 penalties awarded in the top flight this term - but Goodwin believes at least half were questionable.

Ironically, Goodwin - who recently pointed the finger at the culprits he claims are Scotland's main diving offenders - made his latest comments after seeing Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos booked for going down in the box against Livingston.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

TV replays clearly showed the Colombian had been tripped by Livingston keeper Max Stryjek and Goodwin believes the whole drama, which included Gers boss Steven Gerrard being sent off for a four-letter outburst at referee John Beaton, could have been avoided if the officials had access to pitch-side monitors.

The Irishman understands Scottish clubs will struggle to afford the full VAR system used in England - but he sees no reason why a slimmed-down version focusing only on penalty-box fouls cannot be implemented north of the border.

"I think there has been just over 60 penalties awarded this season in the league and I would say about half of them fall into the soft category," said the Saints boss.

"I know they have VAR in the Premier League and people say it costs too much money for us to even consider. But I can assure you that the Rangers video analyst will have sent a clip of the penalty incident last night to the Rangers bench within half a minute. Those guys will have seen straight away that it was a penalty.

"Maybe I'm talking nonsense and we need FIFA to allow us to use our own system here in Scotland - but I don't see why we can't.

"We could have a TV monitor at the side of the pitch next to the dugout and for penalty-box incidents, it would be very easy to stop the game, have the referee run over and give the correct decision.

"I'm not talking about the full bells-and-whistles VAR with the yellow and blue lines for offside. I'm just talking about penalty incidents because there are far too many being awarded this year that just quite frankly aren't penalties.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


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