Celtic manager Postecoglou warns against making VAR 'star of the show'

Celtic host Ross County in the Premiership this weekend.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou questions why VAR teething problems were not ironed out SNS Group

Ange Postecoglou says VAR should not be allowed to become the main talking point after every round of Premiership fixtures after it was revealed that a camera missed Jota’s ruled out goal at Fir Park.

At his press conference ahead of the game against Ross County this weekend the Celtic manager questioned why teething problems were not ironed out before the technology was introduced in Scotland.

The video technology has been a bone of contention in every Celtic game since it was first introduced and Postecoglou has urged Scottish football not to make the video technology “star of the show” going forward.

His comments come following more controversy with the system midweek when the Portuguese winger’s effort was ruled out despite no conclusive evidence being shown in the 2-1 win over Motherwell.

Celtic later asked for the decision to be explained and on Friday the SFA provided clarity on the process around the goal check.

The governing body say the nearest camera operator did not get a shot of Celtic star’s position but insisted that that the VAR technology allows offside decisions to be made from the cameras on either 18-yard line.

Motherwell were also aggrieved that there was no review of the build-up to what proved to be Celtic’s winner after Sead Haksabanovic appeared to divert Matt Penney’s throw-in from off the pitch.

Postecoglou said: “For me, it’s not about decisions. I still think with VAR there will be contentious decisions. For me, it’s the process.

“It’s why I was uncomfortable with the fanfare when we introduced it. It was the talk of the town as if it was brand new.

“Australia, which everyone seems to think is a backwater, had VAR four years ago. It’s not new. Referees in our league who referee in Europe have used it.

“We made it out to be a really big thing with big expectations. Now we are saying ‘expect teething problems’. I don’t know why there would be teething problems for something that’s been around for four or five years.

“If they’re not ready now, don’t start, just wait till we’re ready.”

Jota was flagged offside and VAR confirmed the decision but the view came from the camera on the edge of Celtic’s box.

A statement from the SFA read: “Referee operations can confirm that, during a VAR review at Motherwell v Celtic, the footage from the relevant 18-yard line camera did not capture an appropriate view of the incident.

“While the broadcast footage was only able to show a wider camera angle for viewers, Hawk-Eye technology is designed to calibrate an accurate offside decision from either of the two 18-yard line camera positions, with the subsequent VAR review determining that the Celtic player had received the ball in an offside position.

“We have provided feedback to the host broadcaster on the incident as part of our regular review of the system operation.”

Postecoglou had been frustrated with the time taken for VAR checks in Celtic’s win over Dundee United days earlier.

“For me, it’s not about decisions,” he said. “They are saying Jota was offside, they have evidence of that, whatever that evidence is, it’s with them and that’s fine.

“Even if they’re wrong, I don’t care, that’s the decision. There’s plenty of wrong decisions. For me, it’s the intrusion it has on the game.

“Look, human beings are involved. The fact that a camera is not pointing to where it should be, I’m kind of hoping they went through this process before and said ‘these are the protocols’. You have got to allow human error within that context.

“VAR, we understand it’s part of the game, we have introduced it, let’s get on with it, but don’t make it the star of the show. Unfortunately at the moment that’s what it is.

“I don’t think it helps anyone, not the referees, the clubs, players, coaches or supporters, to have VAR as the focus of discussion.”

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