SCOTLAND’S top refs are poised to be AXED for major European and international games because we don’t have VAR.

Leading match officials Willie Collum and Bobby Madden will be excluded from crucial Champions League and Europa League matches.

They are also set to be overlooked from next year’s Euro 2020 Championship Finals.

SPFL chief Neil Doncaster has claimed Scotland will struggle to adopt VAR because of the substantial cost involved and the lack of officials.

The top flights in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are all using VAR this season.

There are also versions being used in Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Poland and the Czech Republic.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS…Bobby Madden faces being a European refereeing outcast.

Former FIFA whistler Charlie Richmond, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “If we don’t get in line and start using the VAR system in Scotland, you won’t see our guys going abroad.

“That was evident when Bobby Madden went to do his Champions League match recently between Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade

“The VAR officials were flown in from Holland because it’s only Bobby and Willie Collum that are trained in VAR.

“It was the same when Willie covered Juventus against Bayer Leverkusen. The VAR officials came from Spain.

“We can’t send a full team of six Scottish officials to a Champions League game.

“So, when it comes to the more important games our referees will miss out because UEFA will insist on a full team of six who work together.

“The Europa League brings in VAR from the last 32 onwards and I can’t see our guys getting matches.

“It will be same when the European Championships are played next year.

“You only have to look back a few years and find that Craig Thomson covered a Champions League quarter-final second leg between Dortmund and Malaga.

“That will not happen now because we don’t have Scottish officials fully trained in VAR.”

Managers and players are also desperate for the system to be brought in to cut out obvious refereeing mistakes.

Richmond added: “It’s the funding aspect. How are we going to pay for it? But you don’t need to go all singing, all dancing.

“Our major matches are covered live by the main television stations, so all you would need to do is put a couple of VAR officials in place in a van at the stadium.

“We should trial it at games like the Betfred Cup semi-finals and final and the Scottish Cup semi-finals and Final, for example.

“Then we would see how it works and take it from there.”



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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