'I am trying to embrace VAR as a football fan' - Bairns captain Stephen McGinn vents at soft penalty call in Scottish Cup semi-final tie

Stephen McGinn has vented his frustration at the current implementation of the handball law in the aftermath of Falkirk's 3-0 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden Park.
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The opening goal in that match on Saturday saw Leon McCann penalised by VAR intervention for handling in the box after a cross was volleyed into him at close range – with Billy McKay netting the penalty.

“I think teams who use it regularly should just aim for players’ hands," vented McGinn. “If it is not going towards goal, chip it off someone’s hand.

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“If that is where football is going then use it as a tactic to get penalties. When I heard the referee saying it was a penalty it was a real blow.

29-04-2023. Picture Michael Gillen. GLASGOW. Hampden Park. Falkirk FC v Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC. 2023 Scottish Cup semi-final. Stephen McGinn 4 at the end of the game.29-04-2023. Picture Michael Gillen. GLASGOW. Hampden Park. Falkirk FC v Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC. 2023 Scottish Cup semi-final. Stephen McGinn 4 at the end of the game.
29-04-2023. Picture Michael Gillen. GLASGOW. Hampden Park. Falkirk FC v Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC. 2023 Scottish Cup semi-final. Stephen McGinn 4 at the end of the game.

“Wee Jay Henderson has fired a ball in and it isn’t going to lead to a goal. The ball is fired in, it is a hopeful cross but I will need to see it back. I never thought it was a penalty in real time, but they have given it.

“I’m a football fan who is trying to embrace VAR and a lot of it is good but the handballs are an issue. Everyone is split on handball and it is subjective.

“A lot of people look at them differently. A lot of VAR has been good for the game but I am not sure about the handball. It is the rules but everyone looks at decisions differently. I don’t think that would be given outside the box.

“It was the worst start possible. We had a chance a few minutes later, an open goal and we have to take them in a game like this. The goals we lost were disappointing.”