Ex-Fifa referee expects landmark Celtic and Rangers change as Webb turns up at SFA headquarters
Celtic and Rangers can expect VAR to be in operation in the Scottish Premiership in the near future, according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-FIFA and Premier League referee delivered his verdict after the SFA and SPFL have called a meeting to discuss implementing VAR in Scotland in what would be a huge change to the game.
Sky Sports reported (October 1) the SFA and SPFL will host Premiership clubs, including Celtic and Rangers, at Hampden on Friday with a view to introducing technology in the top flight and some cup games.
Ex-Premier League referee Howard Webb, who was in charge of introducing VAR in MLS, will also be in attendance.
“I think they’re wise,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“It’s great that Howard is going to be talking to them because he, of all people, has implemented VAR in MLS better than anybody else around the world. There’s open communication, dialogue, weekly reporting, media requirements. They’ve done everything right.
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“First thing for the Scottish FA, play that video before every game to show that VAR is in operation. Highlight what VAR means and how it operates.
“For the referees that are going to be VAR operators, recognise that the man in the middle is in charge. When it comes to offside decisions, use that thicker line. I would like it even thicker than it is in the Premier League.
“The other side of it is that, I’ve been full of praise this season so far for Scottish referees. I look across and think they’re all relatively mature, well-trained individuals. It’s about getting the balance right, it’s clear and obvious.
“For me, I would introduce it. I think that’s what they’re going to do. That’s why they’ve got Webb there.
“Train the guys right. Even to the extent of running one or two reserve games with VAR. What is important is match practice from the referee’s point of view and the VAR standpoint.
“Despite all the negatives, in England I think we’re getting it right. They’ve now got an opportunity to shortcut it and not have the problems that we’ve had in England. For me, the SFA and the management of the referees seems to be much better than it is in England.”