The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League are to hold a meeting with Premiership clubs to explore the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in league and cup games.
The system, which uses video to aid match officials in reaching the correct decision on game-changing moments, is used in some of the world’s top leagues as well as international and continental competition.
Representatives from Premiership clubs will meet at Hampden to hear a presentation from former referee Howard Webb, who oversaw the introduction of VAR in the United States, before discussing the implementation of the system in Scotland for Premiership games and the latter rounds of the major cup competitions.
The use of VAR in Scotland has been backed by many, though the cost involved with the technology and staff has often been cited as a barrier.
The Scottish Senior Referees’ Association are in favour of its implementation, with some match officials already experienced in its use through European and international games.
The Scottish FA has now said it is prepared to underwrite the training costs for match officials.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executivesaid: “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.”
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