"It doesn't make sense"; Celtic hero Jota speaks out against SFA's new season initiative

By John McGinley

July 3, 2022

Celtic star Jota is not a fan of VAR and has spoken out against the technology ahead of it being implemented by the Scottish FA next season.

As we know, the video assistant referee system will be up in running mid-season next term, first used in the Scottish Premiership following the World Cup in Qatar.

The mid-season introduction is controversial enough, as is the fact some games will have more cameras available to referees than others.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, Jota just isn’t a fan in general. He’s against the entire concept and has spoken out against it in the media this weekend.

As quoted by The Sunday Post, he said: “I’m against VAR. I don’t like it, and I think it’s ruining football. I’m thoroughly against it. That’s my personal opinion. Football is much more than that. Nowadays we just try to complicate what’s simple. But it’s not up to me to make those decisions.

“It’s about everything to do with it. Football is about mistakes. It’s about errors. Everyone makes errors. I will make mistakes, the referees are going to make mistakes, the coaches are going to make mistakes. That’s the beauty of football. If there is a mistake, there is someone who is going to take that opportunity.

“The delaying is something I really don’t like. If you score a goal in a place like Celtic Park, the first thing you want to do is celebrate, so it doesn’t make sense. But I guess we have to live with it. I’m evaluating it from every angle – as a fan, as a footballer, everything. I just think it doesn’t make sense.”

There are certainly a lot of concerns about how VAR will be implemented in Scotland. Though it sounds as if Jota is against it in UEFA competitions too.

Ultimately we have to hope that it is as non-intrusive as possible. Although given SFA officials’ history of poor decisions, I don’t expect this to be a successful initiative from the start.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Given most other countries are putting the technology in place, you can understand why authorities in Scotland don’t want to be left behind.

Ultimately it has been voted in by the clubs too, so as Jota says, it’s just something we’ll have to deal with. Expect controversy though – that won’t go away.

In other news, Joe Hart’s first impressions of Ben Siegrist; addresses Celtic competition.