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Daily Record
Daily Record
Fraser Wilson

Malky Mackay goes into VAR meltdown as as Ross County boss demands SFA summit with games being 're-refereed'

Malky Mackay blew his top at VAR and claimed it’s being used to a different standard by Scottish refs than elsewhere in Europe.

The Ross County boss has demanded a summit to iron out the system’s flaws after watching his side lose 1-0 at Motherwell to a penalty awarded NINE minutes into stoppage time after VAR penalised Keith Watson for handball. Mackay claims even Motherwell skipper Liam Kelly told him he couldn’t believe the spot kick was awarded. It only added to the Staggies boss’ fury after his side had a penalty awarded and overturned after a four-minute delay following Calum Butcher’s challenge on Connor Randall - despite Mackay claiming ref Euan Anderson initially told him he thought it was a stonewaller.

VAR Willie Collum called Anderson to the monitor on both occasions and the ref overturned his initial decision. County, who also had Owura Edwards red carded in injury time, remain second bottom and two points clear of Dundee United with two games to go.

And on the 48th minute spot kick that was overturned Mackay blasted: “The ref thinks it was a stonewall penalty and those were his exact words because I went on to the pitch at the end to ask him.

“My bugbear is that he made a genuine error by not letting the move finish because he blows the whistle before the ball breaks to George Harmon. He’s made an error and he admitted that to me, because he’d thought it was such a stonewall penalty.

“Someone sitting in a room decides it’s not but he’s involved in the game, watching it happen in real time from five yards away. The guy in the studio, meanwhile, is looking at frames and looking at stills, which we all know is something different. Also, if it takes four minutes to decide that it ISN’T a penalty then it hasn’t been a clear-cut error but that’s where we are now – VAR is re-refereeing games.

“Most managers in the Premiership I speak to can’t believe where the bar has been set for these decisions in this country compared to what we see in England. It makes it sickening when, in injury time, the ball strikes Keith Watson’s hand when he’s not even looking at it and it flicks up against him. I spoke to Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly and he couldn’t believe they gave a penalty was given for that.”

Mackay claimed VAR was turning refs into robots last week. Now he has demanded a summit headed by the SFA referees’ chief Crawford Allan to sort out the problem.

Referee Alan Muir i (SNS Group)

He said: “I hope that will be looked at by Crawford and the Scottish FA. It’s their reputation – not mine and not yours. The referees’ reputations are being spoken about every week. The handball rule is the rule – there’s nothing we can do about it.

“Common sense seems to have gone from the situation. We got one against us at Dundee United that skims a pinky - it was ridiculous. When we played Celtic, we got one against us that skimmed a shoulder and nobody claimed for.

“The bar has been changed in Europe because there was an appeal in the Champions League that wasn’t even looked at. But here, every time the ref goes to the monitor they don’t stand by their decision.

“They are changing it and there is nobody saying, ‘I've seen it in real time’. I would hope there are internal discussions between the refs, the supervisor and the SFA. And i would hope the clubs are involved as there is a lot of discord and the clear and obvious thing isn’t working properly. Could it come too late for us? Yeah, completely and there’s nothing I can do about that.”


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