Game 'more enjoyable without VAR' - Motherwell boss

"I knew it wasn't going to be perfect from day one. I'm not sure there has been a dramatic improvement. I think we would all enjoy it a heck of a lot better without it."

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell believes supporters would enjoy Scottish football “a heck of a lot better” without VAR.

Twenty-six decisions since the start of the Scottish Premiership season have been deemed incorrect by the Scottish FA’s VAR independent review panel.

One error that was highlighted was Motherwell being denied a penalty against Aberdeen in their 1-0 home loss to the Dons in March.

“No, I’m not,” said Kettlewell when asked if he would be a continued supporter of the technology.

“Do I believe it is creating a better spectacle? Do I believe it is there for fan enjoyment? Do I believe it is there for even that raw emotion for players and managers and coaches when your team scores a goal?

“I have to say, on day one, I did. I felt we were going to get to the sharp end of the right outcome, being punctual with decisions, finding our way as well, I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect from day one.

“I’m not sure there has been a dramatic improvement. I think we would all enjoy it a heck of a lot better without it.”

In Well’s next meeting with Aberdeen, last Saturday, they also lost 1-0 after having Jack Vale sent off for catching Jack MacKenzie with his boot after he brought down a high ball.

Motherwell appealed against the dismissal but were unsuccessful and Vale will miss the club’s next two games.

“When you have a player intercepting the ball and hooking it over his shoulder, I am going to have to think about trying to coach my players a different way,” said Kettlewell.

“I thought Jack Vale did fantastically well to read the flight of the ball and hook a clearance over his shoulder. At that point when the Aberdeen player is running full steam and runs into you, there’s going to be a contact.

“Every contact and collision isn’t a foul, isn’t a red card. If that’s how we are saying we are going to officiate games from now on, then quite clearly I need to coach my players in a different way.”

Well had also raised concerns about the lack of an “ex-professional player, coach or manager” on the appeal panel.

“There was an argument that there was nobody available from that field,” Kettlewell said.

“If we are going into a panel that is going to make a judgement on a decision that has been made in the top flight of Scottish football, I would hazard a guess there should be an ex-football professional.”

Original article published 02.05.2024 on the BBC Sport website.

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