It’s wasting the game, VAR has got to go

Speaking not just as a Celtic supporter but a football supporter, VAR has got to go…

Heart of Midlothian v Celtic –  A message on the big screen for VAR checking a goal for a possible offside during the Premiership match at Tynecastle,,  Saturday March 2, 2024 Photo Andrew Milligan

VAR was brought in to not just cut out mistakes in the beautiful game, but take the pressure off the under fire officials. It was seen as a positive and something that would rid the game of controversial moments. But 18 months since it was first rolled out in the Scottish top flight it’s done nothing to enhance our game or change the way we view our officials. In fact it’s arguably made it a whole lot worse.

Before I am accused of sour grapes, I’m not just saying this because we were the victims of wrong doing last week, far from it. We have ourselves benefited albeit a small percentage from the much maligned technology. I’ve felt this way about VAR for quite a while now, it’s a hindrance to our game and the overwhelming majority of football supporters feel the same way.

So I’m not just speaking as a Celtic supporter, but as a supporter of Scottish football in general. Think about it, when your side scores a goal the first thing on your mind is ‘will it count.’

Gone are the days you checked to see if the linesman has his flag raised. The euphoria of scoring a goal is now cast in doubt until the game restarts. That dreaded announcement of VAR checking possible ‘offside’ ‘foul’ or whatever it may be is killing not only the game, but our enjoyment of the game.

It doesn’t help either that it’s the same incompetent officials that monitor the action. They have even somehow managed to make themselves look more incompetent using a technology that is meant to make their job a lot easier.

It’s time we binned it and went back to the days we could enjoy the game with ‘honest’ mistakes just confined to the field and not a screen off it.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

Have you visited our new site yet? Click on image to enjoy

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


    • Exactly morto. I think to get rid of var is exactly what these corrupt referees are wanting. They are the problem not the technology.

      • VAR isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay but it needs to be managed better and ideally be called into use by the referee not by VAR itself. In any case, the major issue is the people involved in operating it that are the problem.

  1. Steven Keenan on

    VAR was introduced in the Scottish top flight to bring us into line with the rest of the footballing world. It was meant to enhance the experience and to help get the ‘tight’ decisions correct and also to assist the match officials (who might’ve missed something in the build-up to a goal). However, in Scotland, what it has done is to highlight the flaws in the ‘match officials’ that we knew already existed (and will continue to exist until we have a ‘fit-for’purpose governing body in the SFA/SPFL). There needs to be proper reform of Scottish Football with officials declaring their club allegiances and the hierarchy being ‘adult’ enough to put their hands up when match/VAR officials get things wrong (Yang’s red card the Iwata pen are classic examples of this). Despite VAR recommending the match official re-visit both decisions and upgrading them both to the outcome they became, despite the onfield decisions at the time being correct, we are always going to have ‘the honest mistakes’. Let’s be clear here, these weren’t honest mistakes, they were either externally motivated to assist another club or where incompetent or even corrupt. The jury is still out until the governing body can justify why Celtic’s appeal was so quickly rebuffed (to save face and thereby backing their officials in ‘getting it right’), they can explain how these type of incidents aren’t treated consistently throughout the season, why certain match officials of a leaning to a certain club are allowed to have such a bearing on our game (Mr Beaton was a late change to the original VAR official), why our manager is to face a possible ban which has been scheduled to ensure he would miss the Glasgow Derby if their charge is upheld. The list is endless and I hope that Celtic are well suited up with legal representation for BR’s disciplinary and we have our appeal ready and waiting upon its conclusion. In my opinion, VAR isn’t the problem, it’s the people running it. VAR works in so many other countries without the controversy that blights the Scottish game – strange that eh?

  2. I take the point about the officials, especially on VAR, being worse, but if nothing else VAR has shown their incompetence more than the gentlemen of the press.on their own ever did.
    The problem with VAR in Scotland is it shows definitely which teams get the bad decisions and which team get pretty much all the good ones.
    As the SFA are happy with VAR, that too shows THEM up for being pro Sevco, without a shadow of doubt.