WE have just witnessed two back-to-back Euro 2024 qualifiers at Hampden and the dreaded VAR hardly rated a mention.
There was a two-minute delay in the opening-day 3-0 win over Cyprus after John McGinn had clipped in a left-wing cross from Andy Robertson for the breakthrough strike.
It was checked thoroughly and there wasn’t a hint of controversy which may have been down to the fact that it was cleared by Croats manning the control room.
Mercifully, we were spared the weekly soap opera thrust upon us by the SFA operatives who conjure decisions that befuddle and bewilder even the keenest of minds.
LINES DRAWN ONE…the VAR judgement in the Scotland v Cyprus game looks spot on.
LINES DRAWN TWO…the VAR judgement in Motherwell v Rangers game looks slightly askew.
Compare the lines in the international match and the Premiership game between Motherwell and Michael Beale’s side earlier this month.
They should both run parallel with the 18-yard line. We are informed that is the gauge for calibration. Okay, we understand that. It’s absolutely crucial in tight offside decisions.
In the league encounter at Fir Park, the VAR image apparently shows the Ibrox team’s third goal to make it 3-2 at a crucial stage in the action was valid.
A quick glance may lead you to believe Fashion Sakala is just onside in the lead-up to the strike that was put over the line by Tod Cantwell in the 62nd minute, as CQN pointed out at the time.
Upon closer inspection, it appears as though there is a discrepancy in the angle of the line conjured up by the technicians in the Glasgow office and the reality of the pitch at Fir Park.
One dotty former FIFA referee had his say 24 hours later and informed us it was an “optical illusion”. Really?
Compare it, then, with the line at Hampden which had been set up by the officials from Croatia.
Do you see a discrepancy in the angles? Or is it another “optical illusion”?
These are two different grounds, but the same fundamentals apply. To the naked eye there is surely something wonky with one of the calibrated lines. They simply don’t match up.
Why is this the case? Could it be the Croats are a lot more proficient and professional with the equipment than our match officials at home?
We were warned a tsunami was around the corner when the new technology was introduced to football on these shores in October and they got that absolutely correct. The operation still seems way beyond the comprehension of many of our operatives.
It’s a bit daunting to think that McGinn’s perfectly legitimate goal against the Cypriots could have been ruled out if someone from the SFA had been in the multi-screen office in Glasgow.
Alternatively, of course, Sakala would almost certainly have been deemed offside if the tecnology had been in the hands of officials from Croatia – or any other European nation you care to nominate.
The Premiership restarts this weekend after a couple of games without chaos being thrust upon us by bungling match officials, on and off the pitch.
Celtic play Ross County in Dingwall with a High Noon kick-off on Sunday.
Would it be too much to hope that we will not have to mention VAR afterwards?