“The correct call was made” to rule out Roofe’s goal, admits Rangers Review

‘A poor use of VAR,” says Andy Walker on Rangers’ disallowed goal but a very surprising source (Rangers Review) puts him right on that and also concluded that “the correct call was made” to rule out Roofe’s goal…

Former Celtic striker Andy Walker has given his opinion on Sunday’s VAR controversy at Ibroix and rather predictably he has sided with Mick Beale and theRangers in saying that the Kemar Roof goal should have been allowed to stand…

Even their own fans admit that theRangers performance on Sunday against Champions and league leaders Celtic  was dreadful. They had manufactured a situation where their stadium full of their own fans who ended up booing the players off of the pitch following the final whistle. Mick Beale was spared this face-to-face hostility as he bolted up the tunnel as soon as the final whistle sounded rather than hang around to face the music.

Following the 1-0 defeat to Celtic there is  now a tremendous amount of pressure has been placed on the shoulders of Mick Beale with a growing campaign to have him replaced as theRangers manager having failed to win a single meaningful game in two months in charge with his only success in six matches against Celtic coming in the dead rubber Scottish Premiership match after Celtic had secured the title.

Although Beale has claimed that it’s still early days in his time in charge of the fourth placed Scottish Premiership outfit, he has essentially lost every one of his key games as manager for theRangers. When the post-match interviews kicked off and the managers gave their thoughts on the match, Beale was quick to mention the decision from VAR which led to Roofe’s goal being disallowed.

Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and Celtic FC at Ibrox Stadium on September 03, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Now, most football fans who are familiar with the rules and without bias will note that Dessers tripped Lagerbielke, causing the loss of possession and the subsequent goal, meaning that the goal should not stand as this is a clear foul.

Former referee Bobby Madden actually took to social media after the match to explain why the goal was correctly disallowed. Madden explained:

“The defender is on control. The defender’s action is to play the ball with his left foot.

“This is the important part. The attacker has not played the ball at this point and puts his foot in between the defender and the ball. It’s a foul anywhere on the pitch, no matter what happens thereafter.

“Had the attacker played the ball before the contact, fine. But he was never in control or possession.

“Live, like most people watching, I would never think foul. Naturally you think ‘he has p****d about and been caught on the ball.’ But when you have VAR and all the angles, you can’t allow a goal when you have all that evidence.”

However, despite Bobby Madden’s explanation,  the former Celtic player, Andy Walker has predictably backed the Ibrox side of the argument, saying that the foul wasn’t clear and obvious, so VAR shouldn’t have stepped in. He also talked about being at the VAR presentation from the SFA last year and used that as a justification to back up his incredibly ignorant stance on the rules.

VAR got involved because the ball ended up in the back of the net! Had Roofe’s effort been saved by Joe Hart, or theRangers striker shot over the bar play would have continued. But because it ended up in the net, VAR did it’s job and checked the incident and both VAR and the referee agreed that it was a foul on the Celtic defender so a free kick was awarded to Celtic.

Mick Beale himself argued that Dessers got his foot in-front of the Celtic defender so if anything the foul should actually have gone the other way. Back in January when Andy Walker was still doing co-commentary and Mick Beale was facing Celtic for the first time as theRangers manager, the game ended in a 2-2 draw with Celtic denied a stonewall penalty after Conor Goldson clearly handled the ball.

But it’s not that incident worth recalling here, it was the penalty that was awarded to theRangers after an attempted challenge by Carl Starfelt. From the image below you can clearly see that Starfelt got his foot ahead of theRangers winger Fashion Sakala whose foot then makes contact with the Celtic defender’s boot. Crucially, Starfelt did not touch the ball so a penalty was given to theRangers.

Whether that was a correct decision or not doesn’t really matter as much as the referees and VAR’s decisions on both incidents were consistent and back in January, Andy Walker reckoned that this was indeed a penalty.  Maybe he’ll be able to explain the difference?

Speaking to the Go Radio Football Show, Walker sipped: “I didn’t think there was any need for VAR to get involved. It was a coming together, a tangle of legs. I think you have just got someone else’s opinion.

“The referee was in a good position to see what took place. He didn’t give a foul. Had he given a foul, no problem because you wouldn’t have had the forward play when (the)Rangers get a goal and the stadium erupts. I thought it was a poor use of VAR because it’s very subjective and I don’t understand why VAR wanted to get involved because it’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just another opinion,” Walker sipped.

‘You should always leave the big decisions to the referee on the pitch and I don’t think it was a clear and obvious error for VAR to get involved.” GO RE-READ THE RULES, ANDY!

Given Walker is paid handsomely to provide informed insight he should surely know that VAR usually checks the build-up of a goal as they are game-changing moments and this is why Dessers’ challenge was checked by the VAR team on Sunday afternoon!

Furthermore, he makes the argument that each decision is subjective, so the officials should just stick with the on-field decision, which is a strange approach. Officials follow a rulebook, which explains what constitutes a foul, it’s not really an opinion.And having had a second look on the VAR screen the referee decided that it was indeed a foul to Celtic.

 Photo by Kirk O Rourke//Shutterstock  Referee Don Robertson VAR check after Kemar Roofe of theRangers scored during the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox – Rangers v Celtic, Cinch Scottish Premiership, 03 September 2023 

The day after the defeat the crayons were out over at Ibrox with the latest furious letter being written to be sent to the Scottish FA DEMANDING answers as to why Roofe’s goal was disallowed. News of letter writing was broken by the Editor of Rangers Review, the sister site to Celtic Way, both owned by the publishers of The Herald and Glasgow Times. He also penned the article on this that appeared in The Herald.

Anyway amid the clamour for answers and the desperate need to deflect by complaining, the wind has been brilliantly taken out of theRangers sails by a very surprising source so it is well worth pointing out.

And credit where it’s due but Rangers Review themselves provide all the answers to the various decisions made during Sunday’s Glasgow Derby, missing only the double push on Kyogo that could have been a penalty to Celtic. We’ll forgive them that though

‘Rangers vs Celtic ref watch as Don Robertson’s performance analysed,’ is the headline on the article on Rangers Review and surprisingly it’s as impartial and accurate as you will see anywhere – well worth Andy Walker having a read.

Rangers Review has this to say about the Roofe disallowed goal.

Rangers again had a goal ruled out on 28 minutes when striker Roofe fired home from close range. Again Dessers was involved in the build up and he was adjudged to have fouled Celtic defender Gustaf Lagerbielke as he robbed possession of the ball.

At the time of play, Robertson allowed play to continue and Dessers squared for Roofe who found the back of the net past Joe Hart.

After reviewing the goal VAR urged the referee to watch the incident on his monitor and a free-kick was subsequently given.

IFAB laws state “a free kick is awarded if a player commits any of the following offences against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

• charges

• jumps at

• kicks or attempts to kick

• pushes

• strikes or attempts to strike (including head-butt)

• tackles or challenges

• trips or attempts to trip”

Looking at the rule in full, Robertson has decided to award the free kick on second viewing after adjudging Dessers to have challenged Lagerbielke in a careless and reckless manner.

Despite the decision looking soft on replays, you can see where both VAR and the referee have interpreted the foul from and going by the rules, the correct call was made.

VAR rules state “a video assistant referee (VAR) is a match official, with independent access to match footage, who may assist the referee only in the event of a ‘clear and obvious error’ or ‘serious missed incident’ in relation to: a. Goal/no goal b. Penalty/no penalty c. Direct red card (not second yellow card/caution) d. Mistaken identity (when the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team).” With this in mind, VAR were correct to intervene after the goal was scored.



Watch This…Celtic TV’s ‘On the Road’ video from a Beautiful Sunday at Ibrox

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