Dons press need for refereeing by video
Devlin red card fury rages on
Aberdeen have urged the Scottish FA and the SPFL to consider introducing video assistant referees.
The Dons released a statement yesterday after their frustrations with the Scottish FA’s handling of defender Michael Devlin’s appeal.
Devlin was sent off by referee Craig Thomson four minutes into the Dons’ 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock for denying Eamonn Brophy a goalscoring opportunity.
The Dons described the explanation for rejecting their appeal, published on the Scottish FA website, as unacceptable.
The statement follows criticism by Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke over his club’s failure to get Gary Dicker’s sending-off against Hearts rescinded and the furore sparked when Rangers pair Alfredo Morelos and Allan McGregor, as well as Hearts’ Steven Naismith, all escaped punishment for off-the-ball incidents.
The Dons statement said: “In light of recent decisions taken by the SFA, the club believes it is imperative for the country’s football authorities to establish consistency and transparency in the appeal and referral process and will engage in dialogue with the SPFL in this regard to seek its assistance.
“Furthermore, at a time when technology is making a significant and positive impact across sport, the club believes that the impact of the VAR system trials in the English Premier League needs to be considered if stakeholders in the game are going to regain trust in the process.”
Dons manager Derek McInnes said: “We saw at the World Cup how the VAR process aided the referee and gave the referees more confidence to make the big calls.”
The SFA released a statement last night which said: “The clubs, players and managers are represented in the ongoing review of the judicial panel protocol and we will welcome any input this season through our usual processes.”
McInnes, meanwhile, has defended his decision not to bring Tony Watt to the Dons. The 24-year-old, who has netted six goals in nine appearances for today’s opponents St Johnstone, trained with Aberdeen after leaving Belgian side OH Leuven in February.
McInnes said: “He was always someone who brought something to our training. I was allowed to bring one striker in and James Wilson was that striker. I had a call to make and we also have to look at the emergence of young Bruce Anderson. We wanted to make sure we didn’t impact on that.” St Johnstone have been forced to close the North Stand at McDiarmid Park for today’s meeting with Aberdeen due to a burst pipe.
Dons fans who have purchased tickets for the North Stand will be accommodated in the South Stand.
A club spokseman said: “The row and seat numbers are the same in both stands and so existing row and seat numbers as shown on tickets for the North Stand should be used in the South Stand.
“There are a small number of payat-the-gate tickets available in that South Stand.”
TO THE POINT: Oran Kearney salutes the St Mirren fans at full time after starting his reign as the Buddies manager with a 0-0 Premiership draw against Celtic at Paisley last night. MATCH REPORT ON PAGE 58