The Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League will co-host a meeting of Scottish Premiership clubs at Hampden Park with a view to introducing VAR for all men’s top-tier matches in the Scottish Premiership and latter rounds of cup competitions.
Howard Webb, who refereed the 2010 UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup finals, will present on the evolution of the technology since its inception and introduction into the Laws of the Game in 2018.
Webb is General Manager of the Professional Referee Organisation in Major League Soccer and was initially in charge of implementing VAR in the United States.
The meeting will take place on Friday 8 October and give Premiership clubs the opportunity to debate the full introduction of VAR.
VAR was used throughout UEFA EURO 2020 including matches at Hampden Park, with Goal Line Technology in place for Scottish Cup and Premier Sports Cup matches at the national stadium since December 2020.
The system will be used in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League group stagse, the UEFA Women’s Champions League from the quarter-final stage onwards, the remainder of the European Qualifiers programme and play-offs for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the UEFA Women’s EURO tournament in England next summer.
A total of 152 stadiums in all of UEFA’s 55 member associations throughout Europe will be certified for the use of the VAR system. To meet the increased number of matches, an overall total of 120 VARs from 27 countries will be trained in readiness.
The international window in September will see VAR in operation for 75 European Qualifiers matches over an eight-day period. The Scottish Senior Referees’ Association are in favour of its implementation, with match officials such as Willie Collum, Bobby Madden and John Beaton part of the pool of VARs.
The Scottish FA are prepared to underwrite the training costs for match officials and the SPFL will use the video conference to garner the views of their Premiership members.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “VAR has been under discussion by the Scottish FA’s Professional Game Board since its introduction into the Laws of the Game in 2018. Scottish football took the view that it was be preferable to see the technology be refined, overcome inevitable teething problems and, naturally, become more cost-effective.
“VAR is here to stay and in a short period its implementation has advanced significantly, while its set-up and maintenance costs have reduced. We are now at the point where we need to discuss and ideally agree on its introduction into Scottish football.
“The Scottish FA believes it is necessary for the evolution of our domestic game, to provide additional support to our match officials and also to maximise their potential on the domestic, European and international stages.”
Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, said: “Given the costs involved and the potential effects on the natural flow of the game, it was always a sensible decision to monitor the introduction of VAR in other competitions before considering implementation in the cinch Premiership.
“Now that there has been a meaningful bedding-in period in several leagues, now is a good time to look again at the benefits of the technology. We are keen to hear the views of the clubs, officials and fans and look forward to discussions over the next few months.”