Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish

Scottish sides shouldn't rush in VAR: McLean

Kenny McL
Kenny McL

By Ronnie Esplin

Kenny McLean has told Scottish football to be wary of VAR as calls grow for it to be introduced in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

The Norwich midfielder was happy for the system to be absent from Saturday's FA Cup third-round win at Preston after seeing two decisions go against his side in the Premier League in recent weeks, adding to the controversy surrounding VAR in English football this season.

Teemu Pukki thought he had put Norwich 2-0 up against Tottenham but was adjudged offside by millimetres, with the game ending 2-2, and in the following match Crystal Palace substitute Connor Wickham's late equaliser was awarded by VAR after initially being ruled out for offside. The striker was played on by Christoph Zimmermann's outstretched boot.

Rangers repeated the call for VAR after the 2-1 league win over Celtic at Parkhead at the end of the year, with Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes adding his voice to the plea at the weekend, and the Scottish Football Association is planning to ask member clubs to vote on the potential introduction of the system.

However, former St Mirren and Aberdeen midfielder McLean, who came on late in the 4-2 win over Preston, where VAR was missing as their Deepdale ground is not a Premier League stadium, said they should be careful what they wish for.

He said: "We have been on the wrong end of a couple of poor outcomes from VAR, marginal ones that you could say weren't too conclusive even with VAR.

"I am sure everyone at Norwich will say they are not for it because of how it has gone for us, but I have been like that from the start.

"Referees will make mistakes, same as us players, we make mistakes on a match day.

"It is human error and, unless it is clear and obvious, which VAR has stepped in for a few times, I don't think it is necessary.

"Careful what you wish for? I would say so.

"Look at the two Old Firm games that I saw recently when decisions have gone against Rangers.

"Of course one of them was a vital decision in the Betfred Cup final (Celtic's offside goal) and it cost Rangers. But when you look at ones we have been involved in, they say clear and obvious and it was nothing like that.

"The decisions we have been getting against us have been so marginal.

"I don't think it is needed really, but I don't think we will see the back of it.

"It seems that most people wanted it and now it's here people want rid of it.

"I think it's something that we need to deal with, so hopefully it can start turning in our favour and we will get our fair share of decisions."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph