Hearts' Craig Levein backs VAR ahead of salaried referees

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VAR is the answer to the problem - Levein

VAR would improve Scottish football more than having full-time officials, says Hearts manager Craig Levein.

Talk around VAR and salaried referees resumed after several controversial incidents during Wednesday's Scottish Premiership programme.

BBC pundit and former Scotland striker Steven Thompson has urged authorities to follow England's lead and employ officials on a full-time basis.

Asked if he agreed, Levein said: "VAR, for me, is the answer to the problem."

He added: "As it is just now, you just get one shot at it. With VAR, you get a review. It happens in rugby."

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has said cost is just one of a number of issues that are stumbling blocks to domestic use.

Levein, who has been angered by a series of decisions that have gone against his side of late, also wondered where they money might come from.

BT Sport executive producer Grant Phillips suggested on Thursday that the SPFL and Scottish FA could use its equipment as a trial at the broadcaster's live matches.

However, Levein suggested - perhaps with his tongue in cheek - that Scotland's clubs could perhaps look to a Netherlands example.

"I read recently that Ajax gave up their European money to take up the plastic pitches and put down grass pitches for the rest of the clubs in the league," Levein said.

"Maybe the Old Firm will give up their European money to put VAR in for everybody. Somebody bought Hampden, so maybe somebody would help to put VAR in."

'There will always be mistakes made'

Assistant referee Douglas Ross has also voiced his scepticism about salaried officials.

"All I would say is, in England, they employ full-time referees and there are still controversies," he told BBC Scotland.

"Unfortunately, the beautiful game that so many of us enjoy, part of the reason many people enjoy it is because it's down to a matter of opinions."

Part-time official Ross, who is also an MP, has cut back on officiating at games due to his work at Westminster.

"Whether you are professional, part-time or do it at the weekend as a hobby, there will always be interpretations and mistakes made," he added. "That's unfortunately part of football."

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