Rodgers 'would get rid' of VAR as managers hit out at use of technology

VAR has been a source of frustration for many since it was introduced into football.

Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he would “get rid” of VAR if he had the choice as voices from across Scottish football and beyond continue to hit out against how the technology is being utilised.

Since being introduced into Scottish football over a year ago it has been a constant source of controversy and complaints from many fans, players, pundits and managers alike.

It has also been a bane of Celtic’s Champions League campaign in particular this season by getting involved at vital moments in every one of their group games so far.

The latest being the red card shown to Daizen Maeda in the 6-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night that led to Rodgers saying it was like watching a “computer game”.

The Hoops boss has now joined a list of managers including Stephen Robinson, Steven Naismith and Barry Robson to question the need for it and if it is being used correctly.

Speaking on Friday Rodgers stated he would prefer to go back to “pure football”.

He said: “If you ask me right now – I would get rid of it. Absolutely.

“But there’s money been invested in it for the greater good of the game that is supposed to make it better.

“You have to give it every chance. But if you are asking me now, I’d go back to pure football. We know that when humans are involved you will have mistakes.

“We all make mistakes. But I’d rather accept that than what we see at the moment.”

On Maeda’s sending off, when Celtic were trailing 1-0 in the first-half, he said: “You only have to assess the incident. Everyone could see if you know football at all that there was no intention, he was just overstretching and both players clash feet.

“The irony is that as soon as the red card went up, their player miraculously got up off the floor.”

St Mirren manager Robinson was another who spoke out against earlier on Friday.

He said: “The question we have to ask ourselves is ‘Is VAR making the game better?’.

“Every team in the Premiership is investing money into it when we could be buying players with it. So is it making the game better? Are we doing it half-cooked?

“That ultimately gives you the answer. If we’re making the game better then we push on and we stick with it.

“If we’re not making the game better, which I’ll let you guys decide, and the fans who are the most important people in the game, then certainly everything has to be looked at.

“I was the biggest advocate for it and thought it would help the game. Football’s a spontaneous game that gives great joy to a lot of people. Now that joy is being held back, and that’s me being very conservative with what I say.

“Ultimately the question has to be asked: Is it making football better? Otherwise why are we investing so much money into it?”

Steven Naismith believes if it is used correctly then it could be beneficial to the game as a whole but admits it is a “bit away” from being up to scratch.

He said: “I’m someone who thinks it can help the referees and the officials, but at this moment in time I don’t think it is, I also don’t think it’s a clear question of ‘do we just get rid of it?’ with the investment in it, it would be crazy just to throw it in the bin after it’s first setback.

“Like anything, it will need to be tweaked, It’s been tweaked from the start. We were involved in the trials and things like so we’ve seen where it has come from then to now, but when you are seeing red cards and decisions being made on stills, then that’s the part that’s hard to take when you are in the heat of it and it’s having an impact on the game and the results.

“So I think there is a lot of work to be done to improve it and make it better, and make it useful, but we are definitely a bit away from that at the moment.”

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