Today is finally the day at Ibrox when VAR is introduced in Govan, league-wise, for the first time. Of course, we’re well aware Rangers have seen VAR for well over a year in the Europa League and of course Champions League, but it makes its long-awaited debut in domestic affairs at Rangers when David Martindale’s stubborn Livingston arrive in Glasgow’s southside.
The tech has already had a good start to life in Scotland, last night’s Hibs St Johnstone match being the full debut and one or two calls had to go to review and were made correctly, to everyone’s satisfaction – which is already a bit of a leap over the controversy in England’s implementation.
And so it turns to Rangers today, as the technology begins life in Scotland. Rangers have certainly been the victims of more than our fair share of bad calls by rotten refereeing, and hopefully this will see a massive reduction in that.
Fans still point to the John Lundstram red, and the Antonio Colak disallowed goal as examples of how things could have been very different had the replay system been employed earlier in the season – but what is done is done, and VAR begins at Rangers today properly.
It has of course helped us in Europe, gaining us a few marginal decisions fans didn’t even notice the offence from, gifting us a penalty here and there – but of course, it’s cost us too, as Connor Goldson’s early season blunders saw us concede more than one as well.
But it’s fair – that’s the point. It evens the playing field and means blunders should reduce and more justice should take place. Does it eliminate human error? Of course not, and even replays aren’t going to be definitive answers either – but going by events at Tynecastle this afternoon, the tech is still making the right impact on Scottish football.
So we look forward to the start of the VAR era at Ibrox, getting accustomed to the correct decisions more often than not.
No more ‘even a blind man could see that wasn’t a penalty’ incidents ruining the spectacle for everyone.