The SFA’s Decision To Clear Leon King Is Another Sign That VAR Might Not Change Much.

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The SFA’s decision not to ban Leon King for the incident which raised some hackles at the weekend is not in the least bit surprising. There was a case to be made that he committed a professional foul, and that case was clear.

It was every bit as clear as the one against Callum McGregor was murky. That’s why it should have stood, because if McGregor’s is a red card then so is that and I defy anyone to make a case that it’s substantially different.

We didn’t appeal the McGregor decision, so we’ll never know if it would have been over-turned. I didn’t want us to appeal it, because I wanted him to spend some time in the stand, and of course I got my wish.

Oh dear. Too much of it.

And you know what? I don’t really care if Leon King deserved it or not.

What I do care about is that had it been left to VAR I can see a scenario in which the guy behind the camera, and the ref on the scene, might have made the same decision to flash the yellow.

A lot of this stuff is still going to be up to the refs interpretation … and we don’t trust the refs as it is.

The closer we get to this, the more the possibility that the whole thing will make matters worse instead of better rears its head. Don’t get me wrong, I still want the technology and I do not believe, as someone suggested in the papers today, that Celtic will in any way be hamstrung by it. I think quite the opposite is true in many ways.

But unless the system itself is matched with reform in other areas we’re going to have the same people behind the scenes pulling the strings and the same officials responsible for “interpreting” the data.

VAR will make some of the more scandalous calls tougher to defend … but of course, the problem with that is that nobody will be asked to defend them because the media refuses to accept that refereeing in this country might be biased or corrupt and the SFA protects refs from even the most basic level of scrutiny.

So although I still think we should welcome VAR that welcome should be tempered and we should not give it wholehearted endorsement until we see what it produces. The proof will be in the results and the data on that one isn’t in yet.

A level of scepticism would be wise, and is still in order.

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  • Stephen says:

    If only we had a board of directors with balls.
    Thats what happens when you agree to a secret agreement to allow your bitter rivals life.

  • Martin says:

    The yellow was never going to be upgraded. SFA policy is for violent conduct and really bad calls. Too easy to say it might have been appropriate for a yellow and leave it there. Which in general as a policy I’m OK with. I’d have sent him off, but I wouldn’t necessarily say the ref made a terrible decision by booking him. It certainly wasn’t VC. To me it IS serious fouls play, but there is some interpretation to that one. We also suffer from the appeal system being made up of ignorant so when upgrading a yellow you’d need to consider whether the untrained panel would downgrade a similar red. Which they almost always do. And with that in mind do you really want to bring the “we’re just looking for consistency” press goons on your head? Nah… Not worth that.

    It’s a broken system.. But it’s the backwater we exist in.

  • Martin H. says:

    Var is a farce, and the biggest example of this will be Scotland.

  • Pan says:

    It is Scottish Football, Scottish referees and the SFA that is a farce. Most clubs make little effort to play the game fairly or with panache, simply trying most weeks to waste as much time as possible and try not to lose. No wonder crows are low at many clubs.

  • SSMPM says:

    VAR now gives the official 2 chances to find some kind of fault in what we do

  • Michael McCartney says:

    How on earth can we have faith in VAR when the likes of McLean who’s refereeing last Saturday in front of 60,000 fans at Celtic Park was either biased or hopeless is in charge of
    the new technology in the Hearts v Celtic match this week. This is the same guy who along with his pal Muir missed one of the most obvious hand balls and red card ever in the Scottish Cup Semi Final of 2015. With this shower of hopeless and biased referees in charge of VAR we’re in for more controversy than ever.

  • Effarr says:

    If it’s up to the referee only to look at VAR it will probably be worse for Celtic.

  • Robert Cairns says:

    Just the same as the COVID days when a few should have been banned and they were defender’s
    So just like this time there struggling for defender’s
    Is it just a coincidence
    Don’t think so

  • Vatican says:

    I got FED UP WITH this subject all the time: The proof is there for all to see so why is the team who cheats all the time just Laugh at all other teams knowing they are cheating, after all, supposed to be sport & being Honest: They way to stop this easy when all checks are done & the error is found to be correct give the team who were cheated or a mistake give that team the points & the team who got the points nothing & REF’S Get dropped down or worse as any other job u would be sacked for Dishonesty sacked.

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