Nick Montgomery bemoans Hibs 'punch in the face' after VAR review findings

Nick Montgomery has admitted the VAR Independent Review Panel (IRP) was a "punch in the face."

Hibs were featured fairly heavily in the findings of the review, in particular with confirmation Hearts were WRONG to get a penalty against them in the Edinburgh derby which ended in a 1-1 draw after the Hibees took the lead. At the time, the referee was asked by the VAR to check his decision again but stuck to his guns.

The Easter Road side were also mentioned in the report for a spot kick they failed to have awarded in their favour for a challenge on Emiliano Marcondes by St Johnstone keeper Dimitar Mitov. It was a game that was huge in their quest for top six and they went on to lose it.

Montgomery admits confirmation they were wrong was like taking a blow to the face.

He said: “Looking at the incidents that came out this week, it’s just another punch in the face, to be honest. To have a derby win taken off us, taken off the fans, the boys who put in the effort to win that game, in an incident that everybody knew was wrong on the night.

“For that to now come out in a report, when everyone knew it was wrong at the time, it’s unacceptable. The big picture, big impact it has on seasons and where teams finish in the league, it’s not good enough.

“Clubs have invested into a VAR system to ensure that we don’t get these decisions wrong in massive games. That is there to help the referees.

“For the VAR to call the referee over in the Hearts game, for instance, he reviews it - and everybody knows it’s wrong. That really does beggar belief.

“So whether they need more education for people on VAR, ultimately it shouldn’t be wrong if it’s reviewed on video and the referee is asked to come over to the monitor. Where is the accountability? Where is the apology for getting something so wrong?

“I’ve been angry through the season. I can only talk on behalf of Hibs and myself. Everybody can see the impact it’s had on us, in just one of the incidents we’ve spoken about. It’s deflating and disappointing. We have to hope things improve, moving forward, because clubs invest in order to improve decision making."