THE SFA tonight confirmed that Hawkeye suffered a malfunction during Aberdeen’s match with Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday – but revealed that a “retrospective calibration” has since showed that Bojan Miovski’s injury-time goal was offside.

The Pittodrie club issued a scathing statement earlier today following talks with the governing body and explained that the VAR officials effectively had to guess whether Angus MacDonald was offside when Miovski netted in the 92nd minute.

They argued that the match officials’ on-field decision – the assistant referee did not flag for offside - should have been allowed to stand and claimed that the VAR system in operation in the Scottish game was not fit for purpose.

However, an SFA statement read: “The Scottish FA has today received a report from Hawkeye on the incident that occurred at Livingston’s match against Aberdeen, which confirmed that the broadcast 18-yard left camera suffered a loss of calibration and ceased line tracking on the relevant video frame.

“During the review, Hawkeye were able to reprocess the data through their system and draw the calibrated offside lines from the disallowed goal, which showed Angus MacDonald to be in an offside position.

“The VAR made the decision using the technology that was available and this decision was validated by Hawkeye's retrospective recalibration conducted as part of their review.”

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Aberdeen, who drew the Livingston game 0-0 to remain in ninth place in the cinch Premiership table, had earlier hit out at the handling of the game and expressed their concerns about the use of VAR in this country. 

“Aberdeen have deliberately retained a relative public silence throughout VAR’s lifespan in Scotland, despite some challenging situations both last season and this,” a statement read. “We have instead chosen, for the most part, to air grievances around specific decisions, or make any suggested improvements, privately.

“However, that position is no longer tenable following a meeting earlier this week with the Scottish FA, where the club was provided an opportunity to see and hear the transcripts relating to Saturday’s disallowed goal in the Scottish Premiership match versus Livingston.

“The outcome of which was the Hawkeye system failed so the VARs were unable to rely on any reliable calibrated lines to determine, with the normal degree of certainty, whether Angus MacDonald was offside or otherwise.

“The VARs then used a freeze frame to determine whether they thought Angus MacDonald was in an offside position when the free kick was taken by Leighton Clarkson. The ability for the VARs to do this is contained within the VAR protocols.

The Herald: Aberdeen striker Bojan Miovski celebrates his goal against Livingston at Almondvale on Saturday -“The Scottish FA accepted there is no conceivable way the VAR could tell definitively the deepest position of Livingston midfielder Daniel McKay’s body, because from the only angle available, the 18-yard box camera on the main stand side, the lower half of McKay’s body is completely obscured from view, blocked by other players.

“Even if his full body was visible, it’s impossible to determine who was closest to the goal line with no on-pitch ‘markers’.

“Therefore, it was acknowledged by all in attendance at the meeting that the VARs had to effectively guess on what that position might have been based on the limited information available to them, and that was the basis on which to overrule the on-field call of the assistant referee, who did not raise his flag.

“It is our strong belief that in such an instance, and for the integrity of the game, the match officials should stick with their original on-field decision without the strength of evidence to overturn that and essentially re-referee the passage of play.

“This course of action was chosen ahead of asking the referee, himself, to look at the freeze frame and make a determination, which is permitted under the protocols when it’s a matter of opinion rather than factual, or more appropriately, in absence of a definitive outcome from the camera, sticking with the on-field decision, and giving the benefit of the doubt.”

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The statement continued: “What this situation demonstrates, in our opinion, is that the version of VAR that Scottish football has, or more accurately, can afford, is not suitable for the purpose in which it is intended.

“It perfectly highlights the limitations in the technology, the inappropriate implementation, the consistency of decision-making, and the negative impact on the overall experience for the match-going supporter.

“This is, of course, not an issue that we believe is in any way exclusive to Aberdeen FC. We are not being partisan because we believe a decision, or at least a process, has not been at all effective at the weekend.

“We acknowledge there have been occasions where we ourselves have been fortunate to have benefitted from some of the observations and limitations raised.

“The Scottish FA, with the help of the SPFL (via the competitions working group), have an on-going review of the use of Video Assistant Referees within Scottish football. Aberdeen is committed to playing an active role in those discussions and will work with all stakeholders to try and improve the output because, at the moment, we do not believe VARs presence is enhancing the game in this country.”