Ex-Fifa referee digs at Sutton ‘baggage’ as he fumes over Celtic/Rangers development

VAR can be successful in Scotland despite what Celtic legend Chris Sutton says.

That is the view of ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider as the SFA and SPFL edge closer to introducing VAR in the Scottish game.

The SFA and SPFL co-hosted a meeting of Scottish Premiership clubs earlier this month to discuss the implementation of VAR and Howard Webb described to Sky Sports their attitudes as “broadly supportive”.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Sutton suggested the standard of officials in Scotland is poor and VAR could exacerbate the problem.

“Sutton probably sees more Scottish football than I do,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“But generally I’ve been praiseworthy of some of the officiating in Scotland in the season to date.

“Chris might have a bit of baggage with it but I’ll listen to what he has to say.

“If we look at the history of VAR’s introduction in the Premier League then everybody would be thinking ‘I don’t want it’. It’s only this season where they’ve adopted the real IFAB criteria where it’s worked well.

“He’s right to say, and I think it’s so important, that they get the right training into the decision-makers to ensure they are confident in how they operate in it and the teamwork is enhanced.

“We’re looking for those game-changing decisions, under those four levels of criteria, that when they’re clear and obviously wrong then the VAR will intervene.

“What we saw in England was an overindulgence in VAR. This is the risk that Scotland faces if they don’t do the training.

“Every decision will be checked and it will take an age and all of a sudden, referee’s will become lazy and just say ‘VAR will pull me out of it’. We’ve seen a bit of that this season with someone like Martin Atkinson who gives the impression that he’s not a very confident referee when he is.”

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