Bologna leap to Aaron Hickey’s defence and slam VAR following red card


Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic and sporting director Riccardo Bigon have slammed VAR after former Hearts defender Aaron Hickey was sent off on Saturday.

The 18-year-old, who was making his first appearance in five games, was shown a straight red card just 30 minutes into the 1-1 draw with Seria A rivals Sassuolo for a tackle on Mert Muldur.

Referee Federico La Penna did not take action at the time but then ordered the defender off after being asked to review the challenge by the Video Assistant Referee.

Aaron Hickey speaks to Italian media | Hearts news
Hickey moved to Italy last summer

And both Mihajlovic and Bigon were furious with the decision.

Mihajlovic said: “I cannot understand how a referee cannot even give a foul and then change it several minutes later to a red card. I don’t get it. 

“His leg was totally straight and it wasn’t even a yellow card.

“Nobody had complained about the foul, it was all done by the VAR.”

Sporting director Bigon added: “The episode of the expulsion of Hickey was decisive and the intervention of the VAR must be clarified. 

“You cannot intervene on a foul that is not an expulsion.

“The intervention was an error of interpretation. We have to decide what to do with this VAR.”

Even Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi agreed with his Bologna counterparts.

He said: “For me, Hickey’s foul was not an expulsion.”