VAR-Gate: “It’s embarrassing,” John Hartson. “Rangers have got away with one there,” Barry Ferguson

The former Rangers captain, Barry Ferguson, has publically admitted that Celtic should have been awarded a penalty in yesterday’s Glasgow Derby.

A strong start from Celtic saw Daizen Maeda help the Hoops take an early lead. However, a shift in momentum saw theRangers get back into the game, equalise, and eventually take the lead via a controversial penalty scored by  James Tavernier after Willie Collum failed to call the referee over to look at the incident on the VAR screen.  Then in Celtic’s fight to bring the match back to level terms, a shot from Carl Starfelt deflected off of the outstretched arm of Connor Goldson within theRangers penalty box.

Initially, the decision wasn’t given by the referee, John Beaton, who instead listened to the guidance of the VAR officials, led by Willie Collum, to reach the controversial outcome. Beaton neglected to go and have a look for himself, and determine whether the clear and obvious handball in the box was enough to overturn his previous decision. Willie Collum concluded that it wasn’t a penalty and directed John Beaton to come to the same conclusion.

However, Ferguson believed that it was a clear penalty and that theRangers got ‘away with one’.

Speaking on GoRadio, Ferguson outlined his thoughts on the Goldson handball incident.  “I watched it a couple of times and, for me, Connor Goldson’s arms and hands are in an unnatural position and I thought it was a penalty. I think Rangers have got away with one there. If you’re asking for my honest opinion, it strikes Goldson’s hand and I thought straight away it was a penalty.”

And former Celtic striker John Hartson agreed with Ferguson. Also speaking on Go Radio Hartson said:

“How that wasn’t given I will net ever know. Listen I have spoken about this before. We’re all thinking in here that it’s a penalty. Where is John Beaton’s position? Is his positioning right? All I can say is that he missed it but then Willie Collum was in charge of the VAR. How many times do you have to see it?

“I’m not making excuses. (the)Rangers were very good today especially in the second half, they got their noses in front, it as a really good goal from Ryan Kent and they’ll probably feel aggrieved that they didn’t hold on to win the game. But that decision to not give Celtic a penalty for a handball by Goldson is actually embarrassing. It really is embarrassing that officials didn’t see that.”

They did see it John. Willie Collum had more options to view it than anyone else. He bottled it, it’s as simple as that. John Hartson added to this on twitter saying: “Brilliant save from Goldson.. unbelievable decision.”

Remember the game at Tynecastle when VAR made it’s debut? Cameron Carter-Vickers conceded a penalty after a VAR review after the onfield decsion of a corner was overturned after the referee was requested to look at the VAR screen.

The footage showed that CCV stood on the the Hearts player’s foot so this was the correct decision, no arguments. Had the referee looked at the incident for theRangers penalty on the VAR screen yesterday he would have seen theRangers player standing on Carl Starfelt’s foot.

Why is Celtic paying for VAR if it isn’t going to be used when it could potentially benefit Celtic? Willie Collum shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near another game in Scottish football after yesterday. He doesn’t have the bottle for it.

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