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Scottish Professional Football League latest to complete arbitration with Hawk-Eye VAR
The Scottish Professional Football League has voted almost unanimously to implement Hawk-Eye Innovation’s video assistant referee system, which continues to gain momentum internationally.
With 41 of 42 teams voting in favor of VAR on Tuesday, the SPFL said it would unveil the replay system in December after the World Cup in Qatar, with further plans to use it in the semi-finals and the league cup finals in early 2023.
Already deployed by FIFA, the English Premier League and in recent World Cup qualifiers, Hawk-Eye’s technology – and its six strategically placed unmanned cameras – has proven capable of correcting referee calls on the pitch with 99 per cent accuracy, according to Crawford Allan, Head of Refereeing Operations for the Scottish Football Association.
“You will never get the 100, and football will always be about opinions,” Allan told Sky Sports. “But that 99, I’m sure we’d agree, is better than the 92 or 93 percent at the moment.”
The Scottish system will operate in the same way as the FIFA system, in that reviews will be used for penalties, red cards, goal confirmations and mistaken identities. Sky Sports said the cost of VAR would be £1.2m per season, with each club sharing the cost according to their final position in the league table. Premiership winning clubs are expected to pay more, around £195,000 a year.
“The cost is attractive,” Allan told Sky Sports. “If I were advancing Scottish football – and I’m part of the football family – I’d like to see it as an investment in Scottish football rather than a cost.”