Shaun Maloney: Hibs boss says Scotland must adopt VAR or risk being left behind

Hibs boss Shaun Maloney believes the Scottish Premiership has to adopt VAR as soon as possible – or be left behind by other leagues in Europe.

By Patrick McPartlin
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 10:30 pm
VAR backing: Hibs boss Shaun Maloney
VAR backing: Hibs boss Shaun Maloney

The Easter Road manager made the comments in the wake of his side’s 3-1 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice on Boxing Day.

There was some debate about Hibs’ opening goal, with the United players claiming Kevin Nisbet had been in an offside position when he turned in Martin Boyle’s drilled effort. However, the goal stood and Terrors boss Tam Courts admitted the dubiety made the award “bitterly disappointing”.

He had some support from opposite number Maloney, who stated: “As a league we have to catch up with other leagues around Europe so the quicker we get VAR the better.

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“I have seen it, not only at international level but in other places, not just the top five leagues, and my personal preference is that it helps the referees so should happen.

“There are other things we can do to help them as well, such as making them full-time and giving them as much support as possible."

The introduction of VAR in Scottish football has been a hot topic for quite some time, and both the Scottish FA and SPFL are keen to introduce it as soon as is practicably possible.

Representatives from the 12 Scottish Premiership clubs gathered in October to attend a presentation delivered by 2010 FIFA World Cup final referee Howard Webb, who implemented VAR in the USA and now heads up the Professional Referee Organisation in MLS.

Scottish football’s governing body has already offered to underwrite the training costs for match officials, with the costs for individual matches being paid equally by the Scottish Premiership clubs.

Maloney continued: “It’s a tough job, it’s a very difficult job at this level because we are asking [the officials] to make big decisions.

“So if we can give them as much support as possible then it’s better for everyone.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme earlier this month, referees chief Crawford Allan said: "VAR will be there to help with the big decisions, the factual ones and the ones that are clearly wrong.

"You're not trying to prove a decision was correct, you're trying to say, 'was the decision clearly wrong?'”

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