What are the VAR rules in Scotland? Where it can and cannot intervene

VAR will be used in the Scottish Premiership for the first time this weekend, starting with Hibs v St Johnstone at Easter Road on Friday night.

The implentation of Video Assistant Referee technology will change the game as we know it, with stoppages and pitchside monitor checks set to become part of the norm, as has been the case in the English Premier League since VAR was introduced back in 2019.

As well as the on-pitch officials, all top flight fixtures will now have qualified referees watching on from the centralised Clydesdale House base, where they will monitor major incidents via a number of screens and slow-motion replays.

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But how exactly will VAR be used in Scotland?

A view inside the VAR hub at Clydesdale House ahead of its Scottish football debut this weekend. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

According to the SFA guidelines, VAR can only intervene when it is believed that the on-pitch referee has made a clear and obvious error, or missed a serious incident relating to four specific circumstances, namely a straight red card, penalty incidents, goals (including offside decisions) and any cases of mistaken identity when the wrong player has been shown a yellow or red card.

In every other circumstances, the decision of the on-pitch referee will stand which means there will be no corrections made over yellow cards, corner kicks, throw-ins or fouls outside the penalty area.

VAR checks are automatic so players and coaches will not be able to request an intervention.

An important point to note is the fact that VAR cannot change the referees decision. VAR can only recommend action to the referee but, as is the case now, the referee will make the final call.

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