Scottish football’s VAR vote has brought our game out of the dark ages, insists ex-referee

HUGH DALLAS says Tuesday’s VAR vote will dwindle the day Scotland emerge from football’s dark ages.

UEFA’s chief referee believes the introduction of video assistant referees to the Premiership next season will be a game-changer.

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After just one of the SPFL’s 42 clubs voted against, the system is set to be launched in December when the top flight return after the World Cup.

And Dallas said SunSport“I sincerely believe that in years to come people will look back and say, ‘You used to play games without VAR in Scotland? Seriously?’

“Tuesday was a great day for Scottish play.

“Clubs have aligned us with the best nations in Europe and the world.

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“This is a vital step in the evolution of the game and the SFA and the SPFL are to be congratulated.

“They took their time and they saw problems in some countries with its implementation.

“The referees worked hard behind the scenes.

“Exercises were carried out at youth level on a pitch with six cameras, which I think went very well.

“There have been simulated incidents where referees have been encouraged to watch the monitors and TV operators have to produce the correct footage and angles for them.

“Of course the point that Nick Walsh made the other day is correct – the evidence won’t be clear until the tokens are ready and everything is live.

“But one of the stipulations of Fifa is that this is initially done ‘offline’ so that incidents can be picked up as if they were live.

“Then, when it’s in full swing, there are as few setbacks as possible.

“The spin-off for individual referees is that if they use the system, it will benefit their ability to manage UEFA and Fifa matches where it is used.

“It’s not really relevant for clubs – but it does mean the best Scottish referees will be able to manage European and international games and bring that experience back to the domestic game.

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“At the moment there are only four trained with VAR – Nick, Willie Collum, John Beaton and Bobby Madden.

“But as others are, what will happen is that the best officials will play a game in the middle on a Saturday and be a VAR on Sunday.

“They will be busy guys initially, but that’s what’s happening in England, Spain, Italy.

“Referees approaching retirement age could become specialist VARs so that their expertise is not lost.”

Dallas says clubs deserve praise for approving £1.2million Hawkeye system in Financial Periods Tests – but says Sunday’s clash between Celtic and Rangers shows it’s not a universal solution.

Madden was criticized for a performance that many felt was inconsistent – but Dallas says NOTHING of his calls to Hampden would have led to a VAR review.

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He added: “VAR will not fix every problem or problem in a game.

“I read reviews of Bobby in the semi-finals but, for me, VAR wouldn’t have gotten involved in quashing a single incident because even if there were opinion-based decisions, there was no no clear and obvious error.”

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