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Rangers ask Scottish FA to release audio of VAR penalty decision in Celtic loss

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Dec 2023

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Rangers have requested that the audio of the VAR penalty incident in the 2-1 defeat at Celtic be released by the Scottish Football Association.

Celtic full-back Alistair Johnston appeared to handle the ball inside his own box in the first half of the cinch Premiership encounter at Parkhead under pressure from Gers attacker Abdallah Sima.

A goal-kick was awarded by referee Nick Walsh and the check by VAR official Willie Collum for handball came to nothing but it later emerged through Sky Sports, who were broadcasting the match live, that there had been an offside in the build-up.

Gers boss Philippe Clement said afterwards: “There was no communication towards me. And if the communication is that Sima is offside, I’m not a referee – but there should have been a clear signal from VAR for offside.”

A Rangers spokesperson said: “Rangers have asked the Scottish FA to make the VAR audio available to the club to understand why no penalty was awarded despite a clear handball by Celtic’s Alistair Johnston.

“The club is keen to understand the process that led to that decision being made as it was not made public at the time, nor communicated to our team.

“We also understand Sky, as the league’s official broadcaster, is deeply unhappy and confused with the situation.

“Their panel spent half-time in agreement Rangers should have been awarded a penalty, unaware of any offside check. Again, this only surfaced in the second half.

“Rangers remains advocates of VAR, but there must be significantly more transparency for it to be successful in Scotland.”

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