“It’s an understandable decision” and Football Scotland’s Distorted Kyogo Headline

It’s remarkable really, remarkable that anyone might be surprised at the absolute commotion that has followed the Kyogo goal against Hearts not been given offside. To recap Sky Sports who are the best in the business as far as camera angles are concerned looked at the goal and could not come to a decision on whether it was a correct or a wrong call by the main stand side assistant referee.

And even if anyone could establish where Kyogo was on or off they would have to accept that it was the tightest of calls and in such circumstances the benefit occasionally might go Celtic’s way. Very occasionally.

On the opening day of the season Abada’s goal was clearly onside but was ruled out for offside. Little, if any fuss was made of this by the Mainstream Media but when it’s Celtic who get the benefit of the doubt all hell breaks loose.

And it’s worse. Many of the Celtic sites have called out that Celtic Way site for what looks like an attempt to portray themselves as part of the Celtic Fan Media sites. It’s actually Glasgow/Evening Times and The Herald, its sister site is Rangers Review and it’s edited by the former Rangers Blogger on Daily Record.

Football Scotland at least doesn’t pull the same stunt but to be very clear this is another website from Daily Record. Today they reported on the Head of Referees appearing on BBC Sportsound to give his opinion on the Kyogo controversy – not the assault from Souttar but the goal he scored – and they managed to changed what was said in their headline to further their own agenda.

“SFA referee chief admits Celtic vs Hearts goal was offside…” screams their headline.

They follow up with “Kyogo Furuhashi appeared to be in an offside position when he fired home Celtic’s winner on Thursday night… SFA referee chief Crawford Allan has admitted that Kyogo Furuhashi’s winning goal for Celtic against Hearts was offside” and they continued by stating “Referee Bobby Madden booked Neilson for his protestations but referee chief Allan has conceded that Celtic’s goal should have been ruled out.”

Remember what appear to be doing here is report on what was said on Sportsound this afternoon. But here’s what Crawford Allen – and with a name like that he’s in the perfect job – actually said.

Speaking on BBC Sportsound, Allan said: “It is very, very tight. I’ve said all along since I’ve been in this role that I’ll support referees when I can and I’ll come out and say when there is an error.

“On this one it’s absolutely understandable, from my point of view, at real speed that, as the ball comes across. Kyogo, is he in front of the defender? Yeah, he probably is. You’ve then got to look at the angle of the ball and the speed of it at real time.

“At real time, at real speed – it’s very, very tight. It’s an understandable decision, it’s one that if we had virtual offside lines, that VAR can put on, could help with. It’s something in the big picture that we are looking at.

“It’s an understandable decision. Do I think it’s offside? Yeah, I probably do. But is it understandable that the assistant didn’t give it? I can absolutely see why he didn’t give it as well.”

He’s not sure. He thinks it may well have been offside but he gets that the assistant referee made the call as he saw it and can find no fault in that. Remember Sky Sports were unable to determine whether the flag should have gone up or not. The head of referees then went on to talk about the Assistant Referee’s positioning at the incident.

“Alan (Mulvanny) looks pretty good to me in terms of looking across the line. He will have communicated it with Bobby and they’ll have given the goal because you can’t be 100% sure that the player was offside at the time.”

On the dastardly sin of doing Hearts out of the drop-ball when Madden stopped the play due to Jota’s injury, Allan was not at all happy with Brother Bobby.  “It’s not just head knocks, it’s serious injury to a player. You can argue all day long whether that was a serious injury to a player to stop the game.

“The fact the player got taken off and replaced, Bobby’s decision at the time was that he was very close to it.”I’ve spoken to Bobby about this, and he said that it was clear the player was in severe pain.

“It wasn’t just one where the player falls and screams. He said it was clear to him that an injury had occurred and he stopped the game because of that. Now that’s Bobby’s opinion in terms of how he does that. It’s in the laws of the game that a referee can stop the game, and it’s his opinion that a player is seriously injured. Is a hamstring a serious injury? Yeah, debatable.

“Where I think there’s definitely the error from our point of view, and I’ve chatted to Bobby on this, was the restart. By the time Bobby had brought the whistle to his mouth, which was only less than half a second or so, Hearts then had possession of the ball.

“What should have been done is that Hearts should have had the drop ball and been allowed to retain the possession. So that was a very, very quick incident. At the time, his view was that the Celtic player had just stopped playing with it had gone down and when he blew, Celtic still had it.

“But having watched it and spoken to Bobby, it’s clear that Hearts still had it. So yeah, it should have been a drop ball to Hearts.”

This is the biggest injustice in Scottish football refereeing circles since Roy Aitken stole a throw in against the old Rangers at the 1989 Scottish Cup Final.  But why was Crawford Allan on the radio today and not earlier in the season when Abada’s goal was wrongly ruled out at Tynecastle of when theRangers got maybe a half dozen big calls in their favour – the mega-offside goal against Motherwell at Ibrox and the non penalty against Aberdeen are just two examples.

Thank heavens for The Celtic Fan Media who will stand up to this on behalf of the Celtic Support. It’s just a pity those in our boardroom prefer to do their business behind closed doors, ie do Sweet FA.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. The celtic board are nothing but dirty COWARDS end off its now time for change at celtic because that board are only interested in the blue pound dirty tory fuckpigs.

  2. Gerard F Reilly on

    The overall performances from hoops have been really good quality, but by failing to score a clearer ratio of goals drags us into hyped up issues like the only goal of the game on Wednesday, you have to push the advantage when you.re on top , and grind out really tight games when a single goal can be enough for 3 points, what bugs me is the majority of recent games we.ve been well on top but lack of good finishing is concerning, need to score a lot more goals and issues like the hearts game will be irrelevant “

    • Michael McCartney on

      The issue in this article is not about us missing chances, we all agree we should be scoring more goals considering the possession we have but the reaction to the Kyogo goal to win us the game is unbelievable. If Kyogo was level with either Tony Ralston or the ball as the ball is played by Ralston then he cannot be offside, if any part of any Hearts players body except his arms is between Kyogo and the Hearts goalkeeper that is another reason he wouldn’t be offside. Now I defy anybody to prove to me for certain that none these two scenarios came into play when the goal was scored. Lots of people on the media and even some Celtic supporters on SSB on Friday night are commenting on this goal when they don’t seem to have a clue on the offside rules. As for the referee’s supervisor making comments on the Radio, it is a total disgrace that he chooses at this time to suddenly go public about a decision that was nearly impossible to adjudge without VAR. The controversy about the drop ball is so ridiculous it is laughable. I would just say to our board their is only so much of this one sided controversy we can take and I will be taking this into account when I decide whether to spend money in what I consider to fast becoming a rigged game in Scotland by the Football authorities. Get some backbone and speak up in defence of the players and supporters of our great club.

  3. Sophie Johnstone on

    Why the digs at The Celtic Way.Their chief writer and ACSOM contributor Tony Haggerty is a big Celtic fan,and always worth listening to