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.