Andy Walker has definitely dropped a bombshell today with his claim that he heard a VAR official tell a referee that “the easy way out” of making a major call was to claim an offside.
He refuses to name the clubs who were playing that day, but as only two clubs regularly have games shown live on Sky the chances are that it was a decision with some impact on us.
This claim is explosive, and not the sort of thing Walker would say lightly.
His refusal to name the clubs involved is simply ridiculous in light of what he’s saying; if he has heard officials attempt to dress up a decision in such a fashion than he’s got a responsibility to the sport to name those officials, the teams involved and highlight the incident in question.
He cannot drop that toxic statement into the discourse over VAR and then walk away from it.
Celtic must be demanding answers behind the scenes, and Walker should be asked to speak with the SFA board and told that he has an obligation to football in Scotland which transcends his wish to remain quiet. If he wanted to remain quiet, he shouldn’t have opened his mouth. Now that he has he has a responsibility to tell us all the facts.
That is far too serious a claim to be allowed to simply die on the vine.
He’s talking, in no uncertain terms, about a stitch-up. About collusion between the ref in a televised game and the VAR officials.
He’s talking either about a ref not wanting to make a controversial call, or something corrupt, with all of them cobbling together a cover story.
“The easy way out” of what exactly?
Do we have refs who are too gutless to do their damned jobs or officials who want to bend the rulebook for their own ends?
“I have a concern,” he told an alternative media outlet. “I won’t mention any names and I won’t name the teams involved but there was an instance where a couple of things happened in the space of a second or two. And I heard the VAR say ‘the easiest way out of this, is if it’s offside’.”
That’s an incendiary statement showing either complete incompetence to the point of melt-down or something corrupt, and either of those things is so potentially damaging that nothing short of full disclosure will do here.
This is not one of those flash-in-the-pan one off remarks which the governing bodies and the clubs can simply write off. If that happened – and I have no reason to doubt that it did – then we’ve got much bigger problems than anyone cares to admit.
His “concern” is not misplaced, and he should not be keeping quiet on the specifics.
This is not something that Scottish football does not need to know.