The Scottish FA’s Referee Operations department have appointed Andrew Dallas and Greg Aitken as the first dedicated Video Assistant Referees in Scotland ahead of the new season.
With more than 30 years’ combined experience as match officials, the pair will now step back from their on-field duties to focus on officiating from Clydesdale House.
Gary Hilland, Andrew McWilliam and Graeme Leslie will also call time on their on-field duties to take up positions as the first dedicated Assistant Video Assistant Referees (AVAR) in Scotland.
Scottish FA Head of Referee Operations Crawford Allan: “Andrew and Greg have significant experience officiating at the highest level but have both shown a particular aptitude operating as VARs since its launch last year.
“With the new season upon us it is important for us to continue to improve the VAR operation in all areas, so while their time on the pitch has come to an end, we are delighted that our match officials will continue to benefit from their vast experience.”
The Scottish FA have also created a VAR Independent Review Panel, which will deliver arms-length assessment of Key Match Incidents (KMI) in the cinch Premiership to key stakeholders.
Guided by experts on the IFAB Laws of the Game, the Independent Review Panel – which will comprise of former players, managers and coaches – will meet on a regular basis to discuss and give an independent view of VAR interventions and non-interventions.
The appointment of the dedicated VAR Match Officials and the Independent Review Panel are part of a commitment to improved transparency and efficiency, and knowledge and understanding of VAR in its first full season of operation.
Crawford Allan: “Throughout the past few years as we began our journey towards implementing VAR in Scotland we have engaged in knowledge exchange with other nations who have VAR in operation and the creation of the VAR Independent Review Panel builds on best practice from other top nations in this area.”
The Scottish FA’s Refereeing Operations department are in the process of conducting pre-season briefing sessions on VAR and changes to the laws of the game with Premiership clubs and will also hold regular review sessions of KMIs with clubs following each full cycle of fixtures within the season.
During the pre-season briefings, clubs have also been updated on changes to the IFAB Laws of the Game, which for this season will include officials adding on time lost for goal celebrations during a match.