SFA release statement after VAR cameras ‘did not capture appropriate view’ of Jota’s offside goal in Motherwell win

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The Portuguese winger saw his stunning effort ruled out by the technology at Fir Park.

The Scottish FA has confirmed that television cameras “did not capture an appropriate view” of Jota’s disallowed goal for Celtic in their 2-1 Scottish Premiership win against Motherwell on Wednesday.

The Portuguese winger was flagged offside by the linesman after latching onto a through ball from Kyogo before finding the net at Fir Park, but broadcast footage from the 18-yard line inside the Motherwell half was unavailable. As a result, VAR reviewed the incident from the corresponding angle inside the Celtic half at the opposite end of the pitch.

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A calibrated line was subsequently drawn to represent whether the player was in an offside position or not, and the on-field decision stood to leave supporters questioning how accurate VAR is and why there wasn’t a camera angle at the correct end used.

The VAR calibrated line clearly shows Jota was onsideThe VAR calibrated line clearly shows Jota was onside
The VAR calibrated line clearly shows Jota was onside | (Image - Twitter)

The Parkhead club sent a message to the SFA last night outlining their concerns after Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows stated on social media that camera on BOTH 18-yard lines were fully operational.

A Scottish FA statement confirmed they have written to the host broadcaster in light of the error. It read: “Referee Operations can confirm that during a VAR review at Motherwell v Celtic, the footage from the relevant 18-yard line camera did not capture an appropriate view of the incident.

“While the broadcast footage was only able to show a wider camera angle for viewers, Hawk-Eye technology is designed to calibrate an accruate offside decision from either of the two 18-yard line camera positions, with the subsequent VAR review determining that the Celtic player had received the ball in an offside position.

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“We have provided feedback to the host broadcaster on the incident as part of our regular review of the system operation.”

Celtic's Jota scores against Motherwell but the effort was ruled out for offside by VAR. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)Celtic's Jota scores against Motherwell but the effort was ruled out for offside by VAR. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Celtic's Jota scores against Motherwell but the effort was ruled out for offside by VAR. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Sportscene pundits Michael Stewart and James McFadden analysed the incident from a clearer angle used by BBC producers during the match and, while not definitive, did appear to show Jota leaning into an offside position.

Stewart felt the decision reached was correct, stating: “This was clear as mud. 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 maybe his head is slightly off. But if that’s the line that they’ve taken, it’s very difficult to say from that position.”

McFadden pointed to the fact Jota’s goal had already been ruled out before the incident was reviewed, which meant it was less likely that referee Willie Collum would change the decision.

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He said: “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 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.”

VAR technology has been in operation in Scotland’s top-flight since October 21, with each stadium equipped with extra cameras to enable match officials to have the best angles possible to judge key decisions on.

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