Livingston boss David Martindale has confirmed that the club will appeal the red card shown to Jason Holt against Hibernian, saying it would be wrong to let the player sit out games after a “ridiculous” decision.
Holt was dismissed by referee Craig Napier for a challenge on Kevin Nisbet just 14 minutes into Saturday’s Premiership match, and Livingston went on to lose 4-1 at Easter Road.
Martindale was surprised Napier thought the tackle merited a red card but was shocked that there was no VAR intervention and opportunity for the match official to review his call.
“I think it was a ridiculous decision,” the Livingston boss said. “The referee’s got it wrong, fair enough, but then at that point VAR’s got to kick in.
“That’s what VAR’s for, to get game-changing decisions right, so I’m really disappointed and frustrated that the referee never had the opportunity to go and look at the monitor.
“We all make mistakes, I’m not blaming Craig. But I’m very disappointed he’s not gone over, or not been asked, to look at the monitor. I think there’s a problem if he’s not been told to look at the monitor.
“If people sitting in the offices at VAR, with six different camera angles, are saying that’s a red card, I think we’ve got a huge problem.
“In real time, I genuinely thought it was a yellow card but watching it back from two camera angles, it’s not even a foul. It was highly disappointing and frustrating. VAR got misused on Saturday.”
The club has submitted an appeal, meaning Holt can face St Mirren on Wednesday while awaiting a hearing date, and Martindale said that the club had a duty to take action not only for their own benefit but because of the potential impact on the player.
He said: “You’ve got to remember, there’s not a lot of money at Livingston so players have got a lot of appearance money and win bonuses in their contracts.
“Jason could potentially miss two games and potentially a lot of money.
“That’s unfair on the player. And due to sporting integrity, it’s unfair on Livingston. I’ve got a duty of care to Livingston and to Jason Holt.
“If I thought there was anything (bad) in that challenge, I probably wouldn’t appeal it, but after looking at it, I have to appeal it for Jason and the football club. Hopefully it comes out with the correct decision.”