VAR chaos explained - what ref told Hibs and Livi players during delay

Hanlon reveals how official handled injury-time penalty claim
Ref Grant Irvine is called over for a contentious VAR review - but reached the right decision in the end.Ref Grant Irvine is called over for a contentious VAR review - but reached the right decision in the end.
Ref Grant Irvine is called over for a contentious VAR review - but reached the right decision in the end.

Referee Grant Irvine pulled aside the Hibs and Livingston captains to explain the injury-time VAR review that caused so much confusion at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday, according to visiting skipper Paul Hanlon. And the veteran defender insists he’s prepared to live with lengthy delays while incidents are reviewed – as long as officials reach the right decision.

Hanlon thought he had conceded the latest of penalties when the ball hit him in the arm with Livingston chasing a 1-0 deficit well into the five minutes of time added on for stoppages. Admitting that the only thing he could do was “hope and pray” for a favourable a decision, the centre-half revealed that Irvine had flagged up the possibility of Livi striker Mo Sangara being offside before the ‘foul’ was committed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It was a little bit of a heart in mouth moment,” said Hanlon. “Something hit my face, I don’t know if it’s the ball, but then the ball hits my hand and I don’t know here my hand is, so it’s hard to tell what is going to happen. But offside was given, so we’ll just call it a good offside trap and play on!

“The long wait for these decisions is obviously a bit frustrating because you want to know. But, if they get the right decision, then they’re taking the time to get that decision right. You want it to be a bit quicker but, if they get the decision right, then we can get on with the game.

“Aye, it can be nerve wracking, especially at that stage of the game; it does make it a bit more nervy. But you’ve got to hope and pray that the decision goes your way.

“The ref took the two captains aside on the pitch and said he would be looking at a handball and offside, so he had to go and check them. He came out with an offside in the end.  We’ve had our fair share of bad luck with VAR, so maybe we deserved that one.”