Referees confirmed for first Hibs and Hearts games to be played with VAR
Kevin Clancy will take charge of Hibs v St Johnstone at on Friday when VAR is introduced to Scottish football for the first time, with Nick Walsh officiating Hearts v Celtic the following day in the first VAR match to be screen live on TV.
Clancy will be supported by assistants Alastair Mather and David Doig alongside fourth official Graham Grainger at Easter Road on Friday. But the video assistant referee and assistant for the fixture have yet to be named by the Scottish FA. The first televised use of the new system will be at Hearts v Celtic at Tynecastle on Saturday, which is live on Sky Sports. Walsh has been confirmed as the referee for that one, with David Roome and Ross Macleod his assistants and Craig Napier as fourth official. Again, the identities of the VAR and assistant VAR have yet to be named.
The new high-tech system will be rolled out this week after the SPFL and SFA announced it would be implemented ahead of schedule. Scottish Premiership clubs are covering the £1.2million cost each season after 41 out of 42 clubs voted in favour of the technology being introduced in all top-flight games from October 21. It will also be used in the latter stages of the Scottish Cup and Premier Sports Cup.
Crawford Allan, head of referee operations at the Scottish FA, said: “We have worked extensively over a near three-year period to get to this point, have tested in every cinch Premiership stadium as part of the training process, and we are ready to go. As we have seen across the world, VAR has helped ensure a higher percentage of on-field refereeing decisions are accurate and that is a principle our match officials support.
“I am grateful to the match officials who have given up their time to take part in the training programme and I would like to thank our VAR working group and our key partners at the SPFL, and in particular its chief operating officer Calum Beattie, for his help throughout the development phase, as well as the cinch Premiership clubs who have all been supportive and engaged in the process. Hawk-Eye and QTV also deserve praise for their technological expertise in creating a world-class VAR centre here at Clydesdale House.”