Home SPORTS Scottish FA ‘disappointed’ at Rangers response to Old Firm VAR row

Scottish FA ‘disappointed’ at Rangers response to Old Firm VAR row

The Scottish FA is “disappointed” with Rangers’ comments after their meeting over the Old Firm VAR row and has urged the club to show “greater responsibility”.

Rangers had claimed the “overriding consensus” after their meeting on Wednesday was that the decision of no handball against Celtic’s Alistair Johnston had been incorrect.

But the SFA says that the incident was a subjective handball, and not a clear and obvious error which required review.

The governing body also says it “immediately rejected” requests from the club, which were detailed by a “recent official media partner”,external-link that Willie Collum – who was the VAR official at Celtic Park – not be allowed involvement in future Rangers matches.

Abdallah Sima was assessed to be in an offside position in the build-up to the penalty appeal, but Rangers say this was not discussed by referee Nick Walsh and Collum.

The SFA has not made the audio public.

“Chief Executive James Bisgrove and Director of Football Operations Creag Robertson attended a private briefing with the Head of Referee Operations, Crawford Allan, to review the incident in question, including the use of matchday audio,” the Scottish FA said in a statement.

“We understood from the chief executive that the meeting had been constructive and informative, and conducted amicably.

“This does not appear to be reflected in the club’s statement.”

A Rangers spokesman had said of Wednesday’s meeting that “there is no mention of a potential offside” in the VAR audio and that Rangers was “deeply concerned at the haste” with which the decision was made.

But the SFA disputed the response, saying the “offside would not have been mentioned at the time as it was not part of the VAR’s decision-making on the handball”.

The governing body’s statement added: “It was highlighted within Clydesdale House that had the VAR considered the incident to be a handball offence and asked the referee to carry out an On Field Review, the Attacking Phase of Play would have been checked and an offside would have been identified.”

It also insisted that the decision had no impact on the final outcome of the match, and that the incident in question could not have led to a penalty being awarded.

The process of informing broadcasters and others to avoid any ambiguity over decisions was now being reviewed, the SFA confirmed.

The row has dominated Scottish football discussions since Saturday’s derby clash at Celtic Park, and the nature of some of the discourse has led the SFA to urge Rangers to show restraint.

“We note posts from a recent official media partner of the club’s detailing requests from the private meeting that were immediately rejected,” it said.

“We would ask that club representatives show greater responsibility in such matters, especially in the context of recent incidents in European football that have compromised the safety of match officials and led to widespread condemnation.”

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