AT least in Scottish football we only have compliance officers and radio phone-ins. Over in the USA, attorneys and lawsuits are the order of the day.

Anyone who believes that video assistant referee (VAR) technology is a smoking gun to solve all of football’s ills might be thinking twice this morning if they are aware of the fearful stooshie which has arisen in the wake of an incident in last weekend’s NFL Conference Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams.

Coming as it did in what could be described as the Super Bowl semi-finals, put in its most-simplest terms, a clear error by referee Bill Vinovich’s crew decided which team made it to Atlanta in ten days’ time. And all this in a sport which has had fully 35 years to fine tune how to use instant television replays to help the referees out.

In a hearing set for Monday morning, two Saints fans have asked a judge to overturn the result of the NFC Championship game which sent the Rams to next month’s Super Bowl in Atlanta at their expense, or else order a replay. While their legal action, which calls for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to implement a league rule governing ‘extraordinarily unfair acts’, is being called the ultimate ‘Hail Mary pass’ it is hard for the neutral not to have at least some sympathy with the cause.

At the end of an outstanding see-sawing match which finished 26-23 in the Rams’ favour after overtime, there was only one topic of conversation afterwards. With the score tied at 20-20 with 1 minute and 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter, New Orleans were driving the ball downfield in search of the touchdown which would leave the Rams with a mountain to climb.

On third down with ten yards to go, Drew Brees, their veteran quarterback, threw a pass to his wide receiver Tommy Lee Lewis. He was Nickell Robey Coleman’s man, but the desperately back-tracking Rams cornerback got there too early, hitting Lewis before the ball arrived, and without the get-out clause of looking back in a manner which would persuade the referees that he was making a genuine attempt to play the ball.

The hit prevented either what may have been a game-icing touchdown, or at worst a first down which could have seen them run the clock down before kicking a chip shot field goal. It was the clearest pass interference call you could see, a penalty and automatic first down which would give the Saints the ball on the five-yard line. The Superdome roared for the award. But the flag never came.

Ultimately, the Saints settled for a field goal, which was equalised before the end of regulation by the Rams. They even had the ball back in overtime before Greg Zuerlein’s kick compounded their agony. But the outrage in the New Orleans era remained.

But surely, I hear you say, having had video replay since 1986 – and this current system of challenge flags since 1998 – that whole system is geared up to prevent injustices precisely such as this?

Well, yes and no. Because there is no clearer illustration than this of how a bad refereeing decision can still creep through the most thorough of procedural cracks.

First of all, as it is subjective and a matter of the official’s opinion, pass interference is not deemed ‘reviewable’. Secondly, not only can coaches not use their red challenge flags (they can appeal for a review twice, with a further one if they review correctly) in the last two minutes of either half, as no flag was ever thrown, there was nothing essentially for New Orleans head coach Sean Payton to challenge.

No wonder he was miffed, especially when Alberto Riveron - the NFL’s equivalent of John Fleming phoned up with the Monday morning mea culpa. “For a call like that not to be made, man, it’s just hard to swallow,” he said.

With pressure already growing on the NFL to go the way of the Canadian Football League, which has made pass interference reviewable since 2014, it only serves to show the onus which is on football’s rule makers to find the best way to introduce VAR. I remain in favour of bringing it in. But don’t be surprised if the amount of areas of the sport which are ‘reviewable’ increases year on year. And don’t be amazed if 35 years down the line we are still finding something to argue about.