Celtic boss explains how Scottish football can solve its refereeing crisis after Alloa shambles

By David Walton

January 26, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou believes VAR would be able to solve many of Scottish football’s refereeing issues as the backlash after Alloa continues.

The Hoops may have won 2-1 at the Indodrill Stadium in their Scottish Cup clash, but it was a bruising night for Postecoglou’s men. Callum McGregor and Yosuke Ideguchi both had to come off injured due to heavy-handed challenges – the latter in particular.

Incredibly, however, the Wasps ended the match with 11 players on the pitch. Something that was mystifying given the amount of challenges the Celtic players were receiving.

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

And as Ange reflected on the refereeing standards in Scottish football, he believes the introduction of VAR would take away a lot of the controversy.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Ange said: “Well I don’t think it’s a wider issue because most countries have VAR now and those kinds of things don’t escape punishment anymore. That’s the right way to go about it. I don’t think anybody wants to see that and, at the same time, we want to sell this game and keep increasing the attention the game here in Scotland gets. We want to showcase it.

“The game here is getting a global reach here now and I don’t think people want to tune in and see people getting hurt. If you have VAR, those sorts of incidents are dealt with pretty quickly now and what you see is less and less of them because players know they can’t escape that anymore.

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“Here in Scotland, we obviously don’t have VAR, but it’s not just referees, because they can sometimes miss things. There are linesmen, fourth officials who are also part of the game and their role is to protect that environment so we all see what we want to see. Football being played.”

Scottish football already planning for VAR after 2022 World Cup

The latest on VAR in Scottish football is that the league is confident of having it in place after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It could be the case that it’s implemented after the winter break next season [BBC].

However, it will only work to the intended effect if referees are able to use their common sense in certain situations. For example, if Don Robertson watched Muhamed Niang’s challenge on Ideguchi again, would he send the player off? You would like to think so, but what if he didn’t?

There will still be plenty of debates over key decisions. After all, it still comes down to human opinion. The referee continues to have the final say in matters such as what we saw at Alloa.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Perhaps Ange is putting too much faith into the referees in this country. We know how bad decisions right in front of their eyes can be. But VAR would certainly take away plenty of problems.

It’s promising that Scottish football is looking to have it implemented in the relatively near future. However, as is the norm, we’re about 5 years behind everyone else. For a league growing as rapidly as ours, VAR should’ve been introduced some time ago.

Regardless, it looks like it’s coming. Hopefully, when it does, we see a lot more stricter decisions being made to avoid situations such as the Alloa shambles.

In other news, Erik Sviatchenko “100%” wants to return to Celtic one day