Madden takes wind out of their sails with ‘no penalty’ explanation

Bobby Madden, of all people, has intervened in the great penalty fall-out from the Glasgow Derby on Saturday to explain exactly what happened and in doing so totally takes the wind out of the sails of the new club that wants everything from match officials.

Meanwhile there is no post-match debate on whether Celtic should have had a penalty after a clear push on David Turnbull from James Tavernier did not result in a penalty due to a late offside flag. This looked very close indeed and should surely have merited a check from Willie Collum and his assistant on VAR duties?

Madden didn’t address that ‘controversy’ and you can’t really blame him for that because the big post-match talking point was the penalty that wasn’t given to theRangers – even though it was clearly offside!!!

From where we were sitting in the lower Jock Stein stand we got a perfect view of the incident and there is no doubt at all that Alistair Johnson’s hand touched to ball and knocked it out. So it should have been given as a corner to theRangers ahead of a VAR check for offside, if Walsh reckoned it wasn’t worth a penalty. It looked like the referee was unsighted but of course he had VAR to help him and we thought that the penalty decision was coming, so were pleasantly surprised when play was waved on with Celtic taking a goal-kick (backing the view that Walsh didn’t see Johnston’s hand touch the ball).

We weren’t told at the ground that the decision was for offside but it was offside and there’s no circumstance at all that the eventual outcome would have been a penalty to theRangers. We thought he’d got away with one there but the offside check – whenever it was done – was spot on and would have ruled out a penalty in any circumstance.

On the other hand had VAR looked at the Turnbull incident then the lines in that one would have been critical in the eventual outcome and it’s debatable to say the least to assume that the flagged offside was the correct call.

There’s little doubt that Turnbull was pushed by Tavernier. The offside should have been checked and we should have had a review as it was tight to say the least. Why did that not happen? Celtic maybe should be asking questions of our own about that one and if the Scottish FA decide to release audio tape of theRangers claim then why not do exactly the same thing for the Turnbull penalty claim?

The former referee Bobby Madden cleared up the situation regarding theRangers penalty claim on his Instagram account and it’s certainly worth a noting what he’s had to say.

“Another Old Firm game has come with its fair share of controversy and the usual blend of misinformation and poor reporting. In my view, we witnessed a clear punishable handball offence. Such incidents are notoriously difficult for referees to detect, and thus the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is tasked with reviewing all decisions in the penalty area.

Had the penalty been awarded on the field, it would have been subsequently overturned once VAR reviewed the Attacking Phase Possession (APP). Since no initial award was made, VAR would have examined the play; if VAR determined a penalty was warranted, they would have also reviewed the APP to ascertain any offside positions. To prevent any misunderstanding, an on-field review by the referee would be necessitated to make the final call. If the referee on review agreed with the penalty, they would then highlight the offside to reset play accordingly.

If, however, the referee concluded that no penalty occurred, the game would resume from the point of interruption. Admittedly, this process can seem laborious, but it exists to ensure clarity in the decision-making process.

In essence, VAR did not believe a penalty was due. The later release of an offside image served to justify the decision not to intervene. Ultimately, it seems the correct decision was made.

A point of clarification: if no offside had occurred in the APP and a penalty had been given, it would not constitute a cautionable offence. It certainly wouldn’t be grounds for a second yellow card for handball, contrary to what some might argue.

I hope this clarification is helpful, and I wish everyone a happy New Year.”


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A post shared by Bobby Madden (@bobby_madden_)



About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

1 Comment

  1. Just as well var was not around when some if your strange decisions remember Griffiths right through tackle made no way defender can get to ball without fouling but
    you in your biased mind no penalty fir celtic not the only time Celtic got that signal from you. poor that’s when fifa forgot you and most sfa officails they seen the biased against one team in the scottish game write an expose into the going on in the sfa