By Doug Ward

3rd Jan, 2022 | 3:11pm

Ex-FIFA official: SFA keep major change under wraps, will affect Rangers

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive Rangers columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox

Keith Hackett suggests the Scottish FA may already have VAR in operation for Rangers matches in a bid to trial it and get referees to understand the system.

There have been increasing calls for VAR to be introduced into the SPFL with Sir Kenny Dalglish being the latest to back it in his Sunday Post column on 2 January.

Dalglish wishes that it was already in operation in Scottish football and wants the ball to get rolling in regards to it being implemented next season.

But former FIFA and Premier League referee Hackett believes that the SFA may already be getting their referees trained up on VAR by having it shadow Scottish Premiership matches.

“I think what the Scottish should be doing – and this is where I agree with Kenny Dalglish – is that they should be trialling it. But remember, they can trial it outside the public eye,” Hackett told Ibrox News.

It doesn’t have to be operational but they can still have it. It doesn’t have to be set up, they can actually be using it now quietly in games so when the new season comes, they can operate it in a much better way than the Premier League.

Look, the standard of operation of VAR in the Premier League is not acceptable but when we look around at the Bundesliga, Spain and Portugal, they don’t have the problems that we have [in England].

They could have the system in place now and operate it but just without the contact with the referee.

Any involvement of VAR coming in, they can record it and then what they can do is go into a room post-match and work with the referee.”

Scottish referees have faced a lot of criticism this season.

Celtic-supporting SNP politician James Dornan called officials “useless” on 15 December and even hinted that there may be some kind of conspiracy because he feels his team are being harshly treated.

In other Rangers news, a huge Gers transfer is on the verge of being agreed.