Sky Sports apologizes for Andy Walker’s VAR claim as ‘easiest way out’

The pundit and co-commentator said he overheard an assistant VAR telling the referee that “the easiest way out” of a call was “offside”.

Walker did not name the officials or clubs involved in the incident.

It is understood Walker and his Sky Sports colleagues were able to hear discussions between VAR officials at Clydesdale House but not the referee’s response.

A report had suggested that Walker’s comments had angered the Scottish Football Referees Association over fears an uproar could result in Sky’s feed of the VAR system being cut.

Now Sky Sports has issued a response to the matter in which it has apologized to the Scottish FA and insisted Walker has “admitted his regret” over his comments.

A Sky Sports spokesman said: “Sky Sports have discussed the matter internally and have given assurances to the Scottish FA as to the permitted use of the VAR audio.

“Andy Walker has also admitted his regret at his comments and how they were reported by the podcast company that invited him to their show.

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“We apologize to our colleagues at the Scottish Football Association, with whom we have a close relationship, and look forward to continuing to provide exclusive live coverage of the Scottish Premiership.”

Walker had told NewsSlotsKlosh: “Working with Sky gives me the opportunity to hear VAR.

“To be perfectly clear, I hear the video assistant referee – not the referee on the pitch.

“I have a concern.

“I won’t name names and I won’t name the teams involved, but there was one instance where a couple of things happened within a second or two.

“And I heard the VAR say, ‘The easiest way out is when it’s offside’.

“It’s really bad language for me. There should be no inkling that we’re getting an easy way out.

“You have to see what’s happening on the pitch and apply the rules of the game – don’t look for the easy way out.”

Russell Falcon

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