Goal-line technology will return to Scottish football once again in the upcoming Betfred Cup semi-finals.
Celtic will remember its debut competition in Scotland well. Back in December, Hearts saw a goal awarded after the Hawkeye technology ruled it had passed the line. This came against Celtic in the Scottish Cup final in a pulsating end to last season’s delayed competition.
The tech was also used for the previous semi-final matches. Hearts vs Hibs and Aberdeen vs Celtic were the first matches in Scottish football history that it had been in use.
However, in a major boost for its continued involvement up here, it’s set to make its debut in the Betfred Cup semi-finals this season. Hibernian will face St Johnstone on Saturday, followed by Livingston-St Mirren a day later. Goal-line technology will be operational in both matches.
SPFL Neil Doncaster sounded excited about the development, as he highlighted how well it worked in that Scottish Cup final back at the end of 2020 (BBC).
Use of well-proven services such as goal-line technology is big for Scottish football
This will be its first involvement in an SPFL competition. It remains to be seen if there is any scope to bring it to the Premiership in the coming years.
The tech was first tested by FIFA in 2011 and approved by IFAB in 2012. You can now see it regularly in major competitions such as the Champions League, the World Cup, the Premier League, Ligue 1, and the Bundesliga respectively. It’s yet to make its way to the Scottish Premiership.
When it was introduced in England back in 2013, it was reported that HawkEye would cost around £250k each to install at all 20 Premier League clubs (Daily Mirror). That’s a sum many clubs in Scotland won’t want to splash out for. And if the likes of St Mirren and St Johnstone couldn’t implement it, it affects the dignity of the competition if the Hoops had it installed.
But it’s already proven successful. In truth, you can’t really go wrong with goal-line technology. It’s nowhere near as costly as VAR would be and not nearly as controversial either. Although in any technological advancements into Scottish football would be a nice boost.
Hopefully, it proves to work smoothly at this weekend’s semi-final matches. It’s great to see it being rolled out into another Scottish football competition.
Let’s see what happens with its continued use afterward.