VAR Is In Crisis. But At Least In England They Are Transparent And Determined To Fix It.

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Over the course of the weekend, controversy exploded in England in a big way over VAR. It’s the second time in the short span since this campaign began that the officials down there have gotten a call not just wrong but badly, awfully, catastrophically wrong.

It came in the Spurs-Liverpool game when Klopp’s side was reduced to nine men before Postecoglou’s team snatched a last-ditch winner. At 0-0 Luis Diaz scored what he thought was the opening goal, and what followed was an utter farce.

Everyone expected the goal to stand. And yet it was knocked off. There was an explanation at the end of the match – “human error” was the verdict – but that, of course, doesn’t change the outcome.

The apology is not the first. It’s not even the second. I wrote about the one which the FA offered earlier in the season to a club which had suffered an awful VAR decision.

The debate is being had down there as to whether this technology is doing more harm than good. Up here, the officials aren’t interested in such a debate. Apologies? Ha! Don’t make me laugh.

We will get apologies up here when Hell freezes over. VAR has caused chaos in Scottish football since it was introduced and only one decision – one Celtic got at Tynecastle – has ever roused the SFA to comment.

You have to wonder what made that one so special.

Part of the thing down south is that a separate organisation – the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd – runs refereeing and thus VAR itself. Up here we have the poachers operating as the game-keepers.

The SFA runs refereeing and they refuse to hold them to account, in part because that would mean holding themselves to account and the scandal is that they will never accept that. That’s why we don’t get explanations or apologies.

VAR is in crisis in England, and it would be in crisis here in Scotland if the media wasn’t determined to take a “hands off” role in pushing for changes to it. But in England I an confident that things actually will change, because the organisation PGMOL, does actually hold its officials accountable, because the FA pays to use that service rather than runs it itself … that’s a difference right there, and there’s scrutiny and people take responsibility as a result.

This is how it should work up here.

They have problems.

They are big problems.

Its clear that some of the folks at PGMOL aren’t fit for purpose, but they want to fix this, they want to sort this stuff out, they are determined to learn from their mistakes and get better … and that’s only possible when people feel that they need to meet a certain standard.

We don’t have a certain standard here.

Guys like Collum can make a dreadful “mistake” in a game, have his VAR officials basically back it and nobody at the SFA cracks a light. He finds himself officiating a Celtic game just days later, a headliner match as if he was getting a gold star.

At least in England they aren’t doing that. They want to deal with their issues.

Here in Scotland they would much prefer it if we simply ignored them.

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  • Bob (original) says:

    Yes, if that disallowed, ‘offside’ goal had happened here,

    then the relevant camera(s) will be found to have been faulty / switched off /

    facing the wrong way / etc.!

    The EPL introduced VAR in season 2019/20,

    so they have about 3.5 years more experience in dealing with the issues.

    Why doesn’t the SFA tw@ts simply instruct The Scottish Referees’ Association

    to copy everything the EPL does with regards to VAR?

    Somebody should give Maxwell a nudge to wake him up… 🙁

  • Fun time frankie says:

    James imo the answer is quite simple ,as a big club we pay far more than probably the 5 or 6 bottom clubs pay for this shite put together, so all our hear no evil see no evil board have to do is tell the sfa as of next year were paying nothing towards this total farse and go back to the old routine.

  • Brian says:

    When will we stop blaming var. the problem is the people who use it wrongly. Sort the officials not the var.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Post of the footy season so far Brian ! – Absolutely 1,000 + % correct in your ascertation !

  • Scouse bhoy says:

    There was one official explanation the celtic player was offside when he received the ball. That just sums it all up.

  • Scud Missile says:

    Ah Saxwell give hime a nudge to waken him,why don’t we just give him less alcohol and get him to sober up the mad jakey alkie that he is.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    England is a MILLION times more honest than the banana republic of a football country Scotland will ever be !

  • Patrick Cannon says:

    And we moan and wonder why the English think we’re a micky mouse league

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