Rangers 'repeat calls' for introduction of VAR in Scottish football

Rangers have again called for the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Scottish football following their 2-1 Old Firm win against Celtic on Sunday.

Play is halted during an English Premier League match between Aston Villa and Norwich City for a VAR check
Play is halted during an English Premier League match between Aston Villa and Norwich City for a VAR check

The Gers, who won at Celtic Park for the first time since October 2010 courtesy of goals from Ryan Kent and Nikola Katic, have issued a statement claiming: "Scottish referees need additional help if match officials are to get more of the big decisions correct and the club is convinced VAR would provide that extra assistance."

The Ibrox club's managing director Stewart Robertson has denied that the call is a criticism of referees, adding: "They often have to perform under very difficult conditions and in a highly emotive environment, as do our players and coaches.

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“The speed at which the modern game is played also means it is extremely difficult to make split-second calls with the degree of certainty required.

“We believe the introduction of VAR would help referees enormously and reduce the number of wrong decisions which sometimes have a dramatic effect on the outcome of matches.

“In recent weeks, Rangers has suffered from errors of judgement but it is our strong view that VAR would be to the benefit of everyone and in particular the referees themselves.”

'Glaring errors in key matches'

The statement also highlights what Rangers claim were "three glaring errors in key matches", namely the decision to award a free kick for a foul on Alfredo Morelos inside the box in the 2-2 draw at Aberdeen on December 4; Celtic's offside goal in the Betfred Cup final and Celtic's goal in Sunday's Old Firm clash which went in via the hand of Odsonne Edouard.

The statement continues: "The main point is that VAR, which is now used in many leagues throughout Europe, would help eradicate refereeing mistakes and greatly assist our match officials.

"At the very least, the SFA / SPFL must now seriously consider the introduction of the system at the earliest opportunity otherwise the Scottish game is in danger of being left behind.

"Rangers has already written to SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell asking that the association look at consideration the introduction of VAR and the club is once again urging both governing bodies to give this matter serious consideration and study.

"Rangers is aware of the financial argument against VAR but the cost to clubs which suffer from such game-changing decisions and the integrity of our game must also be given priority."