Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell has revealed that he sought clarification over Rangers third goal against his side two weeks ago, and is now satisfied that the correct decision was reached.
Todd Cantwell netted his side’s third goal at Fir Park in a 4-2 win and after the match Kettlewell had admitted there was “a seed of doubt” over the VAR decision.
He felt there were question marks over whether Fashion Sakala had strayed offside in the build-up. The manager spoke with Scottish FA head of refereeing operations Crawford Allan and said that he now understood the detail of the rules.
Kettlewell was told that in the event that the VAR lines drawn to measure offside are overlapping or touching, then the attacking player is considered onside. He said he expected the same ‘advantage’ if his team were the attacking side.
“If we go specific to the incident you’re talking about is if those lines are touching, then the advantage goes to the attacker,” said Kettlewell.
“I’m pretty clear on that now, but if that’s how it’s going to be, I would expect if we go to Easter Road on Saturday and the lines are touching, as drawn on the screen, if our attacker is the one that’s in front of the defender [then a similar decision is reached].
“I’m old-school, I just think in any way if the attacker is ahead of the defender, whether it’s a millimetre or an inch, then it makes him offside.
“But I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that if these lines are touching and the attacker is ahead, then the advantage goes to the attacker.
“If that falls on Saturday, and it’s one of our forward guys, then I fully expect us to be given that advantage in that situation.”
The manager insisted his club had remained ‘respectful’ of officials as they looked for understanding and were happy enough with the responses given.
“I did question that decision post-match,” he said. “This is where I stick my hands up and say, by all accounts, that Fashion Sakala should be waved onside and the goal should count.
“I sought that clarity with Crawford Allan, he’s made me aware of a couple of things, which I accept.
“I still have a couple of question marks, just purely from my opinion and being a person involved in football.
“I felt I was very respectful, and the staff were very respectful to VAR, but there was confusion, and maybe not quite understanding why certain decisions came about.
“But it was a pretty amicable conversation and I’m fairly happy with the outcome.”