Kilmarnock boss McInnes: 'I want competent refereeing, not apologies'

McInnes is angry about decisions that have affected his team since VAR was introduced.

Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes calls for competence from SFA referees using VAR SNS Group

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes has told the Scottish FA that he wants competence from referees during games and not apologies about mistakes after the fact.

McInnes was infuriated by a failure to award his side a penalty during the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone when Saints defender Andy Considine appeared to handle the ball when dealing with a cross into the box.

Referee Chris Graham didn’t give a spot kick but wasn’t called across to review the incident on the pitchside monitor by video assistant referee Mike Roncone.

That baffled the Kilmarnock boss, who has since spoken to Scottish FA referees’ chief Crawford Allan and was left unsatisfied. McInnes said he believes in the idea of VAR in principle but that clubs aren’t getting what they paid for.

Asked to justify the club’s complaint to Hampden bosses, he told the club’s YouTube channel: “I think it is incumbent on the club to do that.

“We feel really hard done to and we’re paying a lot of money for the technology and to modernise our game.

“I was a big champion of VAR and I think all the managers got behind it because we wanted to help the referees. We want the league to be modern as possible and we all want to make those improvements.

“I think with the exception of the offside law where you can see categorically there’s an improvement on those decisions, there’s still the usual debate. It’s people’s perception of incidents that need to improve.

“But I also feel that from my conversation with the refereeing department on Monday… I don’t want apologies. I’m fed up getting apologies.”

The Rugby Park boss was clear on what he wanted to see in the future and expressed his concern that match officials were trusting the VAR official reviewing footage remotely to make important calls when their own view of the game was sufficient for decisions.

He said: “I want fairness, I want competence. I want people making the right decisions not just for my team but for everybody.

“I do feel we were so harshly treated at the weekend and it’s not the first time. For me, we are in danger, a lot of the younger referees coming through are getting so used to refereeing a game with VAR now that they need to get back to being good referees and making a decision there and then.

“The referee should have spotted, he should see that’s a handball. We also feel there’s a handball from Liam Gordon in the first half but the one everybody is talking about is the Considine one.

“That should be seen by all the officials there and not a referee thinking ‘It looks like a penalty but VAR will soon tell me if it is or not’. 

“Then you’re relying on the capabilities of the guy in the VAR room and we’re being so badly let down in that instance.

“It’s so important, I’m so angry about it, and I think it’s time the refereeing department really upped their game and start justifying why there was this demand and need to have VAR in.”

McInnes’ comments comes after a weekend of Premiership games where several key decisions caused controversy. Dundee United are understood to have contacted the SFA over a penalty award to St Mirren in their game at Tannadice, while Hibernian manager Lee Johnston complained publicly about a red card shown to Elie Youan in his side’s defeat at Celtic.

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