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Dallas expects Scottish refs to change handball approach

A VAR screen
VAR has been a talking point in the Scottish Premiership since its introduction in 2022 [SNS]

Hugh Dallas expects Scottish referees to take a different approach to handball under Willie Collum next season.

Experienced grade one official Collum will replace Crawford Allan as the Scottish FA's new head of refereeing.

Handballs caused controversy in the Scottish Premiership last season, with managers citing a lack of consistency.

Dallas, who has a referee training role in Turkey and previously held similar jobs at the Scottish FA and in Greece, was asked if Collum's appointment would bring a change and said: "For sure. Handball has been a big issue. It's down to the instruction that referees are given in any country.

"We've not had a big problem in Turkey with handball because we've told the referees this is what's required - raining balls, as we call them falling out the sky on to arms, don't touch them.

"I don't know what the referees have been instructed in Scotland regarding that. Willie Collum's already had meetings with the referees and according to what I've heard, it's been really positive.

"Willie will take the referees with him. They'll all sit round and they won't be dictated to and told, 'this is what we want'. It's important that referees all agree when they leave the room what the interpretation of handball will be."

Dallas believes it is important to keep the interpretation of the rule "simple".

"One of the words that we use out there is impact. If an arm's clearly out and it's impacted on the ball, the direction that the ball is going in, maybe the other team has benefitted through that, that should be punished.

"If the ball is going towards the goal and the arm is out and it hits it and you think, 'where was that going? It was probably going towards the goal', it's difficult not to punish that.

"If you keep it simple, then you'll definitely have more consistency."

Dallas also revealed the idea of giving managers two VAR challenges during matches "is being floated" at International Football Association Board level.

'Uefa want to change the mentality of players'

Meanwhile, Dallas expects officials at Euro 2024 to clamp down on being crowded by complaining players.

"Any player approaching a referee outside the captain will be yellow carded," Dallas said.

"If there are four of them, four will be yellow carded. Uefa are really going to be strong regarding this during the championships.

"They want to change the mentality of players, this running to protest and putting referees under pressure.

"The referees in the early rounds, matchday one probably, they've been told, 'be strong'.

"If the goalkeeper is the captain, there'll be another player nominated to approach the referee and have an explanation and I think that's a good move."