Andrew Dallas and Greg Aitken appointed first dedicated VAR operators in Scotland by SFA

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The two Scottish FA referee’s will begin their new posts immediately as the new season starts.

Andrew Dallas and Greg Aitken have been appointed as the first dedicated Video Assistant Referees in Scotland for the start of the 2023/24 season.

With more than 30 years of combined experience as match officials, the pair will now step back from their on-field duties to focus on officiating from Clydesdale House.

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Gary Hilland, Andrew McWilliam and Graeme Leslie will also call time on their refereeing duties to take up positions as the first dedicated Assistant Video Assistant Referees in Scotland.

Scottish Football Association head of referee operations Crawford Allan said: “Andrew and Greg have significant experience officiating at the highest level but have both shown a particular aptitude operating as VAR’s since its launch last year.

“With the new season upon us it is important for us to continue to improve the VAR operation in all areas, so while their time on the pitch has come to an end, we are delighted that our match officials will continue to benefit from their vast experience.”

The SFA has also created a VAR independent review panel, which will deliver arms-length assessment of Key Match Incidents (KMI) in the cinch Premiership to key stakeholders.

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Guided by experts on the IFAB Laws of the Game, the panel - which will compromise of former players, managers and coach - will meet on a regular basis to discuss and give an independent view of VAR interventions and non-interventions.

The appointment of the dedicated VAR match officials and the independent review panel are part of “a commitment to improved transparency and efficiency, and knowledge and understanding of VAR” after several controversial moments following its rollout in Scottish football last autumn.

Allan continued: “Throughout the past few years as we began our journey towards implementing VAR in Scotland we have engaged in knowledge exchange with other nations who have VAR in operation and the creation of the VAR independent review panel builds on best practice from other top nations in this area.”

The SFA’s refereeing operations department is in the process of conducting pre-season briefing sessions on VAR and changes to the laws of the game with Premiership clubs and will also hold regular review session of KMI’s with clubs following each full cycle of fixtures within the season.

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During the pre-season breifings, clubs have also been updated on changes to the IFAB Laws of the Game, which for this campaign will include officials adding on time lost for goal celebrations during a match.

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