ABERDEEN have revealed that Bojan Miovski’s late goal against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday was disallowed despite the Hawkeye system failing and the match referee having to guess if the striker’s team mate had been offside during the build-up.

And the Pittodrie club have accused the VAR system which is in use in Scottish football of not being fit for purpose after reading transcripts of the conversation the match officials had about the North Macedonian internationalist’s late strike during a meeting with the SFA.

They would have beaten the bottom-placed team in the top flight 1-0 and remained five points clear of St Johnstone if Miovski’s effort, which was not flagged offside by the assistant referee at the time, had been allowed to stand.  

A statement read: “Aberdeen FC feel compelled to address supporters following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Livingston in West Lothian, when Bojan Miovski’s late goal was disallowed following an intervention from the Video Assistant Referee.

“AFC have deliberately retained a relative public silence throughout VAR’s lifespan in Scotland, despite some challenging situations both last season and this. 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 in the lead up to Bojan Miovski’s 92nd minute goal at the Tony Macaroni Arena, so the Video Assistant Referees (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 Scottish FA have confirmed to us that they have already launched an investigation into why this failure happened and their officials put into a difficult position.

“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 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.”

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 FC 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.”