Levein calls for “vital” VAR in Scottish Football

Hearts manager, Craig Levein claims it is vital for Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) to be added to Scottish football for criticism of match officials to conclude. David Ronney has more.

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Hearts host Livingston this Sunday at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup. (Photo credit: Hayden Barry)

Scottish Premiership managers met with top-flight referees last night to discuss a plan moving forward following a series of comments on decisions made by referees in recent months.

Levein said the meeting made him realise the necessity for the advancement of referee technology to be implemented across the Scottish top flight. He said: “I think the big thing coming out of it for me was that VAR is absolutely necessary for a number of different reasons. I’m hopeful that it’ll take the pressure off the referees and I’m sure they would agree with that and will increase the amount of right decisions that are made. For me it’s a no brainer.

“I don’t consider that to be a long term situation. I would rather that was embraced as quickly as possible. I think everyone agreed last night that it would make things so much easier for everybody and if there’s something that is as obvious as that, that can be used as a solution to the problem then I think we should go full steam ahead.”

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Levein spoke the day after Premiership managers met with Scotland’s top officials (Credit: Hayden Barry)

The Jam Tarts boss will serve a touch line ban this weekend for their Scottish Cup tie against Livingston after Levein made comments on the officiating in Hearts 2-1 home defeat to Rangers in December.

Levein said he doesn’t know the impact his lack of presence on the touchline will have on his players but was confident that they could seek redemption after the heavy 5-0 defeat in the sides last meeting. He added: “We got our backsides felt two or three weeks ago which was very sore indeed. That’s something we have to make up for. I don’t think motivation will be an issue in this game.”

Levein stated that the club doesn’t expect to make any more additions this window but confirmed John Souttar is back in training and could play a part in Sunday’s match.

With numerous players returning to squad after spells with injury issues, Levein believes that his side could reach the standards that they start at the start of the season as early as February. He said: “Obviously we need John Souttar to get up to speed quickly and Uche [Ikpeazu] when he comes back.

“I would certainly think going into February that we should be back to full strength and arguably even stronger. We have more options in the forward areas than we had even at right at the start of the season. I’m excited about what happens in the second part of the season. Logic would dictate that we should be back to the same sort of position we’re in but I can’t say for certain so we have to wait and see.”

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