Scottish FA creates VAR independent review panel to help transparency

The governing body has also appointed dedicated VAR officials for next season.

Scottish FA creates VAR independent review panel to improve transparency SNS Group

The Scottish FA is to set up an independent review panel for VAR decisions with the aim of increasing understanding and transparency around the system.

The governing body has also announced the appointment of dedicated Video Assistant Referees for the first time as Scottish football prepares for its first full season using the technology.

VAR was introduced in the Premiership last October, with the new system and technology allowing referees to review video footage of incidents in order to improve decision-making over serious fouls, penalty incidents and offside calls.

The Scottish FA say the implementation of VAR has helped to increase the accuracy of decisions, though some incidents have proven controversial and delays over decisions have attracted criticism.

Improvements are being brought in for the new league season, which starts this weekend.

The governing body says the VAR independent review panel “will deliver arms-length assessment of Key Match Incidents (KMI) in the cinch Premiership to key stakeholders”.

That will involve former players, managers and coaches meeting regularly to review VAR decisions, guided by experts in the laws of the game.

Head of referee operations Crawford Allan said: “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.”

Allan also welcomed the appointment of Andrew Dallas and Greg Aitken as the first dedicated Video Assistant Referees in Scotland.

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.

“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,” Allan said.

“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.” 

Ahead of the new Premiership season, clubs have been briefed on changes to the VAR process and to laws of the game, which for this season will include officials adding on time lost for goal celebrations during a match.  

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