Michael Stewart sarcastically wades in on VAR's latest Celtic nightmare

By Dave Flanigan

November 10, 2022

BBC pundit Michael Stewart has had his say on the latest VAR call to negatively affect Celtic after the Hoops had a magnificent second goal chopped off in their eventual 2-1 win over a resolute Motherwell at Fir Park.

Celtic were relatively comfortable on the hour mark at 1-0, but looked to have the game all but won after some sublime Kyogo play set up Jota who chipped Liam Kelly in the Motherwell goal, only for VAR agree with the near-side linesman who flagged for offside.

The images shown following the decision were inconclusive at best, and Michael Stewart, as ever, had plenty to say on the matter following the game last night.

Photo by Mikolaj Barbanell/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Speaking on Sportscene (from 14:45), Stewart said: “This was clear as mud. you know, it’s very, very tight,”

“I think he’s probably marginally off, you can see his body position is leaning forward and I would say that maybe his head is slightly off.”

Stewart openly mocked the VAR image, which was shown from the other corner of the stadium, offering a basically impossible angle for those watching to determine if Jota was indeed offside.

“We’ve not got the technology that they’ve got. They’ve got great angles, great lines. Clearly you can see there,” he said sarcastically.

“If that’s the line that they’ve taken, it’s very difficult to say from that position.”

James McFadden was more measured than his fellow ex-professional, pointing out that the linesman flagged for offside as Jota wheeled away to celebrate with the travelling support.

He added: “The assistant referee flagged when the ball went into the net, so maybe they just couldn’t find enough cause to overturn and say it was an obvious error.

“It’s very, very tight but it was a tough one to call. You’d like to think they’ve got it right because it was an unbelievable goal.”

Another matchday, another shambolic VAR performance

It’s been an inauspicious first few weeks for VAR in Scotland, with barely a matchday passing without some significant controversy involving the technology.

Celtic have been on the receiving end of more than their fair share of farcical decisions, with only the win at Livingston going by without at least one potentially game-changing decision going against the Scottish champions.

Whilst the Jota call looks marginal, the issue on this occasion is with the camera angle used, should that also be the angle used to make the call, the decision itself could well still be the correct one.

The Josh Morris challenge on Carl Starfelt was the critical error from last night’s match, as VAR failed to upgrade the yellow card issued by referee Willie Collum to red.

Though Celtic have been able to maintain their perfect league run with VAR in place, it would be nice if the ever-growing list of VAR blunders in Scottish football was curtailed sooner rather than later.

In other news: Liam Scales given Ireland chance whilst livewire gets confusing international call-up