VAR referee Nick Walsh’s ludicrous penalty a sad moment for Scottish football

This was quite a remarkable game. It was far from the best Celtic performance this season – but it was good enough to earn the three points and to keep Celtic at the top of the League. VAR once again disgraced itself sufficiently to call into question its own sanity and the last few minutes were once again a maelstrom of emotions…but once again we emerged triumphant.

Liel Abada celebrates scoring our fourth goal during the cinch Premiership match against Dundee United at Celtic Park,  Saturday November 5, 2022. Photo Andrew Milligan

Celtic’s main fault was the inability to kill the game early in the second half when we were well on top. It is always said that if you cannot score when you are on top you will suffer for it, and how true that was! Giakoumakis was enjoying himself trying to score a goal with an overhead scissors kick. He must either perfect this technique – it would be marvellous to behold – or desist trying.

Dundee United came more and more into the game, came closer and closer and duly reaped their due reward (as they thought) when they scored in the 87th minute through Levitt, the man who almost spoiled out party last May. Tony Watt’s career has not exactly gone from strength to strength since that great goal against Barcelona 10 years ago, but he can still play and had a point to prove. I cringed when I saw him come on.

READ THIS…“They just refuse to yield, there is no lost cause,” Ange Postecoglou

 Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates scoring our third goal of the game during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park against Dundee United on Saturday November 5, 2022. Photo Andrew Milligan

But then Celtic at last said “enough is enough”. Ange had once again got his substitutions correct, and Kyogu and Abada got the goals. It was all right in the end – in fact it was quite an exhilarating experience – but it came close to ending in tears, and all because we did not put the game to bed.

For Celtic, full marks to Haksabanovic for his two first half goals (the second was a bit lucky, but deserved none the less). Generally it was a Celtic performance with some weaknesses – Turnbull, for example, had a poor first half but improved in the second half, and Ralston became very careless in the second half – but we did not lack energy. It was an excellent example of our mantra “We Never Stop”.

Photo Andrew Milligan

And so to VAR. Let’s not mince words about it – the Dundee United penalty was absolute rubbish. Not a single Dundee United player appealed for a penalty, the referee Mr Dickinson saw nothing wrong, but then allowed himself to be bullied by the VAR referee who, they tell me, was our old friend Nick Walsh, into awarding a ludicrous penalty kick. It was a sad moment for Scottish football, and the pundits rightly had their say about it on TV.

The “serious foul play” referral looked like a bad foul, indeed, but I wouldn’t have wanted to see a red card, and the attempt to stop the fourth goal (again there was no serious protest from Dundee United) looked like a “clutching at straws” moment.

But a game that will be remembered, I feel, with Dundee United doing enough to make one feel that they are not necessarily doomed yet, and they certainly contributed more than they did on the day when they lost 9-0, and Celtic showing yet again that they never stop. But oh, it was a difficult game for us to watch at times! Not at the end, though, and I look forward to visiting Motherwell on Wednesday.

Thank you to everyone who picked up a copy of The Celtic Rising from the Celtic Superstore today and also for everyone who had already ordered on this site. I am reliably informed that almost everyone, perhaps with the exception of supporters in Australia, Canada, United States and elsewhere around the world, will have received their copy by now.

David Potter

OUT NOW! And available today in the Celtic Superstore!

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.


  1. Sorry David, but if you don’t think that challenge is a red card then specsavers are the best option on the high Street.


    • Having looked at it again on TV, I am beginning to change my mind, but the astonishing thing was that there was not even a foul! This VAR makes things a lot worse, I remain convinced.

  2. The incompetents in Scotland’s refereeing community generally are not fit for purpose.
    They have worked out how to continue their cheating bu mis-using VAR and they are using it for incidents that do not need it. Indeed, the VAR officials are using it to put pressure on referees to give the decision THEY want.
    Todays referee was easily bullied into the penalty today. Our national sport is sick to the core. The game is corrupt.

  3. Having looked at it again on TV, I am beginning to change my mind, but the astonishing thing was that there was not even a foul! This VAR makes things a lot worse, I remain convinced.

    • We used to have to beat the opposition team plus one referee, now it’s the opposition team plus a team of referees. They’re not even bothering to hide their bias and incompetence now. The game’s rigged but Celtic can rise above it.

  4. Allaboutceltic on

    I don’t understand why everyone is searching desperately for an answer as to why our referees are so bad. It’s quite simple really. Our referees are orange hun cunts, who hate our club with a passion. Don’t try to find logic or reason in their decisions, because you won’t find it. They’re simply hun cheating bastards who don’t care about being found out, as the establishment cozied away at Hampden don’t care either and their decisions will continue to go on without comment or consequences. It’s been going on for for years and will continue to do so unless the whole lot is called out, which it won’t.


  5. N.Walsh should be sacked today now thats twice he’s went against our club the hearts penalty var took 15 seconds and it was over dundee utd penalty if u call that as a pen yet again n.walsh gives it and he’s looking right at it and still cant get to the right decision sportscene on bbc billy boys club are the only ones that say it was a pen but it was soft they say we wonder why eh whit the fuck is our board doing because we won thats it no Scottish football is corrupt and there officials are the worst ive ever seen and ive been watching celtic since i was a bhoy but its getting bad now they dont hide the refs and why should they nothing ever happens to them so our board should grow a pair of baws our get out our club money grabbing bastards.