Hugh Dallas reveals the Celtic VAR impact he spotted as Rangers told of 'protocol' over one penalty gripe

Former top ref Hugh Dallas admits he instantly spotted how VAR impacted Celtic - but it had nothing to do with decisions!

Instead, Dallas noticed how the Scottish champions were forced to shake up their style of play as the technology disrupted their rhythm. The use of video technology in Scottish football has been a hot topic since it's introduction in October 2021 - with Hibs' clash against St Johnstone the first Premiership showdown to feature VAR. Just 24 hours after it's debut, Ange Postecoglou’s Hoops side were involved in some history of their own when they faced Hearts at Tynecastle in the first live TV Scottish football game using the technology.

And Dallas reckons the Hoops were quickly forced to change their style during the Postecoglou era - with the relentless attacking style of Angeball being paused by the time it took officials to make decisions on the pitch. After Dundee boss Tony Docherty admitted he had to tweak his side to deal with VAR, Dallas told BBC Sportsound: "I’ve not got the experience these guys have had with playing, but within the first month that it was introduced I all of a sudden noticed how it affected Celtic.

"Because when Celtic restart play from a goal kick they get the ball thrown to them quickly, it’s down and it’s away. They can’t do that now. Because when the ball goes out of play they will say ‘check, wait, wait, delay the restart, delay, delay deal, ok we can go’. All of a sudden that spontaneity was gone. I just found as a non-football knowledge that changed one team.”

Docherty also admitted his frustrations with the time it takes VAR to make a decision - with Dallas conceding that there was an issue with the timescale of checks. The former whistler referred specifically to a flashpoint during Celtic's clash with Rangers in December.

Alistair Johnston appeared to handle the ball in a tussle with Abdallah Sima. Willie Collum opted against sending man in the middle Nick Walsh to the monitor on the day but replays later showed that Sima had strayed into an offside position when the ball was played into the box and so no penalty would have been awarded in any case.

While Dallas understood the gripe from the Light Blues over the delay and confusion, he stated that the officials had simply followed "protocol." He said: "There is a lot of issues with that at the moment. We are talking about VAR checks taking long enough at the moment. A lot of people don't understand the protocol with VAR - you check a penalty incident then you have got to go back and look if it was offside.

"We had a situation in the Old Firm game earlier in the season, and then you have got to say if it's not offside was there any foul play in the lead up. That takes a long, long time before you can make a decision."