Scottish Premiership clubs give 'overwhelmingly positive' response to VAR ahead of SPFL vote

Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster declared that cinch Premiership clubs are "overwhelmingly positive" about implementing VAR.

Referee Georgi Kabakov checks the VAR monitor before awarding a penalty to Scotland during the World Cup qualifier in Austria last month
Referee Georgi Kabakov checks the VAR monitor before awarding a penalty to Scotland during the World Cup qualifier in Austria last month

The Scottish Football Association and SPFL co-hosted a meeting on Friday with representatives on the proposed introduction of the technology for all men's top-tier league matches, and selected cup fixtures.

Howard Webb, the 2010 World Cup final referee who implemented VAR in the United States, presented on the evolution of VAR since its inception in 2018.

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Doncaster feels member clubs are on board with its introduction, and a formal proposal will now be prepared ahead of an SPFL vote.

He told the SFA website: "We were keen to hear the views of cinch Premiership clubs, who were overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of introducing VAR in Scottish football.

"We will now continue that dialogue and working up the detail of a formal proposal, with a view to putting forward a resolution that will enable VAR to be introduced as soon as is practicably possible in the cinch Premiership.

"This will not be an overnight process, bearing in mind the lengthy training and set-up that will be required. Any such proposal would ensure that none of the costs of implementing VAR in the cinch Premiership would be borne by other SPFL clubs."

The SFA reiterated its offer to underwrite training costs for match officials, with match costs being shared equally by Premiership clubs.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell added: "The meeting was really productive and Howard's presentation was well received: clubs were really engaged as he outlined the journey VAR had been on not just in the United States but in general.

"The Scottish FA remains fully supportive of its implementation for the benefit of the image and status of our domestic game, but also to provide support to our match officials on the domestic, European and international stages."

Both Celtic and Rangers have experienced the technology in European football while the system was responsible for awarding Scotland a penalty, which Lyndon Dykes scored, in the 1-0 win over Austria in last month’s World Cup qualifier in Vienna.

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The Scottish Senior Referees’ Association are also in favour of its implementation, with the possibility Scottish whistlers could be prohibited from calling European matches if they don’t work in a league which uses the technology on a weekly basis.

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