Willie Collum has been appointed head of refereeing at the Scottish Football Association, bringing an end to almost 30 years of officiating the game in Scotland.

In doing so, Collum promises to help improve the implementation of VAR in the Scottish Premiership.

Collum spent 20 years as a Category One match official and FIFA International referee, and will leave his current place of employment – as a local authority education officer – in July to take on the role.

The 45-year-old will replace the outgoing Crawford Allan.

In a statement, the SFA said Collum's appointment was made following an "extensive recruitment process".

It read: "The Scottish FA and global sports recruitment experts Elevate Talent compiled a list of experienced applicants from four different continents. Willie’s experience, leadership responsibilities within the Scottish education system, understanding of the Scottish football landscape and resilience made him the outstanding candidate."

Collum, who took charge of last weekend's Celtic vs Rangers game at Celtic Park, himself added: "It’s my strong view that the role of Head of Refereeing is responsible to all of Scottish football, not just the association, as I am fully aware of the passion and expectations from clubs, players, supporters and match officials themselves.

"I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I have as a referee without the support of my colleagues and team-mates within refereeing and my immediate priority is to galvanise the current network of match officials from Category One to those taking the field for the first time.

"I will outline my plan in detail when I start officially but I was emphatic throughout the interview process that I want to improve, with consultation and consensus, the operation and delivery of VAR for all concerned. I want to use my experience to alleviate the unsustainable burden on our match officials and improve relations and mutual respect between match officials, club officials, players, coaches and fans.

"I would like to thank Crawford for leading the implementation of VAR and I know I can count on him for advice during the handover period and along the way. I look forward to getting started."

READ MORE: Celtic vs Rangers ref watch as Willie Collum calls assessed