VAR costs Rangers again as ‘Well boss decries video technology

VAR costs Rangers again as ‘Well boss decries video technology
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 28: Referee Willie Collum looks at a monitor as they watch a VAR Review during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and St. Johnstone FC at Ibrox Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

VAR is back in the spotlight after some significant errors were noted regarding Rangers’ calls from the technology, and Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell, already very outspoken against Dundee and their cheating, has now decried VAR as well.

The bottom line is any tool is only as useful as the person using that tool.

VAR is undeniably being used rather poorly on a number of occasions north of the border, and when you keep persisting with part-time referees to do the job, it’s not that surprising.

Scotland’s referees just aren’t trained as professionals – that requires money, investment, and time, and for a league that generates as little revenue as Scotland does, the powers-that-be would argue there just aren’t the funds.

Which means that those who are arguing against VAR are really arguing against the lack of quality in the officials who evidently aren’t trained up enough.

The decisions which cost Rangers were Dujon Sterling’s red card (we still think that one came under orange card) and the Lundstram penalty v Kilmarnock.

Interestingly, the latter saw a lack of VAR being used, and that was the problem, not the VAR itself.

So this all boils, again, down to human error, human incompetence and not the technology being at fault.

That part will never change as long as Scotland employs semi-pro or part-time referees and not highly-trained professionals:

“No, I’m not (continuing my support of VAR). Do I believe it is creating a better spectacle? Do I believe it is there for fan enjoyment? Do I believe it is there for even that raw emotion for players and managers and coaches when your team scores a goal? I have to say, on day one, I did. I felt we were going to get to the sharp end of the right outcome, being punctual with decisions, finding our way as well, I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect from day one. I’m not sure there has been a dramatic improvement. I think we would all enjoy it a heck of a lot better without it.”

See, Kettlewell speaks a lot of sense, but he also misses that bigger picture.

The VAR is only as useful as those operating it and for as long as that’s the Willie Collums of this world, that usefulness is limited.

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