St Mirren in VAR talks with SFA as referee chiefs admit blunder

The Buddies are “disappointed” and “frustrated” at Tuesday night’s on-field review process’s outcome.

After the SFA referee department acknowledged that it was an error to not review a Ross County handball in the box, St Mirren denounced VAR’s Highland horror show.

A moment after yanking James Bolton’s jersey in the first half of Tuesday night’s 1-1 Premiership tie in Dingwall, Ryan Leak handled a free-kick from Zach Hemming.

While VAR officer Greg Aitken cleared Leak of the shirt pull but did not send the whistler to the monitor to evaluate the handball incident, referee Chris Graham was unable to detect any infractions.

After the SFA was contacted by Seething Saints, they verified that there was a mistake in the on-field review procedure.

St Mirren and Ross County players in the box after a challenge for a high ball“St Mirren Football Club can confirm it has spoken to the Scottish Football Association’s referee department regarding the decision not to check for a penalty after a handball in Tuesday night’s draw with Ross County,” the Paisley team said in a statement.

“The club feels that VAR erred in not proposing an on-field review after a first-half handball by a Ross County defender.

“After being granted access to see the entire VAR audio and video, it is evident that an error occurred during the procedure. A brief video assistant assessment focused on James Bolton’s shirt pull in the box.

“We acknowledge that this is subjective, but we also think this may have been a penalty. But the referee department has acknowledged that the handball was a factual incident and that this ought to have prompted an on-field investigation.

“We are disappointed and frustrated that the right procedure wasn’t followed this time, even though we welcome more independent reviews aimed at strengthening the process and value the referee department’s openness and transparency in reviewing this incident.”

Earlier this month, manager Stephen Robinson stated that he would rather add players to his team than spend money on VAR after it was discovered that 13 decisions were found to be erroneous between November and January, none of which concerned St Mirren.

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