Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes open to introduction of VAR in Scottish football

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has called for Scottish football to consider introducing video assistant referees (VAR) to help under-fire officials.

Derek McInnes is open to the idea of VAR. Picture: SNS Group
Derek McInnes is open to the idea of VAR. Picture: SNS Group

A spate of controversial decisions around the country in recent weeks has turned the spotlight on referees.

McInnes, for his part, was unhappy with the penalty awarded to Celtic in last Sunday’s 1-0 Betfred Cup final defeat at Hampden Park and with the dismissal of striker Sam Cosgrove in Wednesday’s 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Rangers at Ibrox.

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McInnes accepts video technology would be a costly addition to the game in Scotland but believes it would be worthwhile.

“I don’t think we should just dismiss VAR because it’s expensive,” said the Dons boss, ahead of the visit of St Johnstone on Saturday.

“Obviously we aren’t awash with money in Scottish football and it’s something we would need to look at but for me, you have to see the benefits.

“It’s going to come into every top-flight league and major competition within time.

“We should be making sure that we’re doing all we can to have fewer controversial incidents. And it’s major incidents and major calls that have a big influence on the game and the results.

“Surely we all want that? I think if there is a cost-effective way to apply a VAR system of sorts then we need to look at that.”

Although acknowledging that VAR would not bring an end to errors, McInnes believes it would take away the focus from mistakes.

“We need to help the referees,” he said. “We need to get a better overall product and less controversy to our games. It doesn’t do us any good.

“And while it doesn’t eradicate everything it certainly goes a long way to stop a lot of the frustration we’ve felt recently.

“If we want to be at the forefront of it, be up to date with other leagues and competitions, then it’s something the authorities need to really investigate and not just dismiss as they maybe seem to have done in the past.

“[It gets dismissed] as too expensive and you don’t get everything right anyway.

“Well, you get a hell of a lot more right with VAR and I would suggest it would be money well spent.”

Meanwhile, striker Connor McLennan has signed a new contract that will see him remain at Pittodrie until the end of the 2020-21 season.

The 19-year-old said: “As soon as I heard about it, I couldn’t wait to get the contract signed.

“It’s been a great week for me, having been involved in the Betfred Cup final and then starting at Ibrox on Wednesday for what was a massive win.

“The team were all desperate to make amends for Sunday and it was a great feeling. My objective now is to cement a regular place in the first team.”