Home   Sport   Article

Charlie Christie: Hearts v Celtic raised issues over decisions of VAR

By Charlie Christie

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Decisions were called in question. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Decisions were called in question. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

In Scotland the issue of VAR (video assistant referee) yet again raised its head following some very poor decision making, both on and off the field, in the Hearts versus Celtic match at Tynecastle on Sunday.

I watched the game and felt that the award of a penalty to Celtic in the 13th minute was a poor on-field decision.

It was quickly followed by an even worse VAR red card decision three minutes later which saw Celtic’s Yang Hyun-Jun leave the field for a raised boot challenge on Hearts’Alex Cochrane.

The worst was yet to come though as VAR again reviewed an on-field decision culminating in the award of a Hearts penalty as Tomoki Iwata was deemed to have handled when off balance and falling during a three-player challenge for a high ball just inside the Celtic penalty box.

Those three decisions were questioned by both managers post-match and understandably so.

Former ICT interim manager Neil McCann, Scotland and Liverpool great Graeme Souness and former Celtic player and manager Neil Lennon added fuel to the Scottish VAR debate by also questioning those decisions and the standard of Scottish refereeing in general.

Souness and Lennon went even further by asking why the SFA do not utilise former professional players in the off-field VAR application – something I have also previously questioned, and which would seem common sense for many in the game.

I would suggest that if you questioned 100 unbiased former professional Scottish players then almost every one of them would have given totally different decisions at Tynecastle.

n Arsenal’s breathtaking display at Sheffield United on Monday was a pleasure to watch and their 6-0 win meant that the ‘Gunners’ have now scored 31 goals in the seven English Premiership matches they’ve played in 2024 – quite incredible.

Mikel Arteta’s side also became the first ever team to win three consecutive away matches in the English top-flight by five or more goals whilst Sheffield United set a less impressive record by becoming the first English top-flight side to concede five or more goals in three straight home games.

The match emphasised the gulf between the top and bottom of Europe’s major domestic league and the top three teams, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal are currently performing at a far superior level than everyone else.

Manchester City’s next two matches see them travel to Liverpool this Sunday before welcoming Arsenal to the Etihad. Those matches will have a huge bearing on the EPL title race.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More