Breaking News: Celtic against Rangers video assistant referee (VAR) issue is the subject of a motion that a member of parliament has submitted - soocer442
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Breaking News: Celtic against Rangers video assistant referee (VAR) issue is the subject of a motion that a member of parliament has submitted

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James Dornan, a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has criticized the Scottish Football Association (SFA) for having a “culture of secrecy” over the VAR repercussions that occurred after the match between Celtic and Rangers.

Within a motion that was submitted on Friday, the member of parliament demanded that Hampden chiefs demonstrate a greater degree of transparency.

During a tense moment in the match, the MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, who has served in that capacity since 2011, endorsed calls from Rangers for the Scottish FA to release recordings of the conversations that took place between officials. The tense moment was caused by an alleged handball committed against Alistair Johnston.

An attempt was made by the Celtic defender to remove the ball from play while under pressure from Abdallah Sima; however, referee Nick Walsh indicated that the ball should be kicked for a goal. Willie Collum, an official with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), did not request a review of the decision from the pitchside because he could not find any evident and obvious errors.

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After then, Sky Sports showed an image that showed Abdallah Sima offside in the moments leading up to the incident. The SFA insisted that “the incident could not have led to a penalty kick” because of the offside.

In addition, Mr. Dornan advocated for the elimination of the “culture of secrecy” that exists within the Scottish football community and proposed the establishment of a “independent regulator for football.”

The motion, entitled ‘Calling for SFA Transparency’ contains the following: “That the Parliament supports recent reported moves by Glasgow Rangers FC to get the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to release the conversations by video assistant referee (VAR) officials during the recent game against Celtic FC; recognises what it sees as the longstanding culture of secrecy that exists within the ruling hierarchy of Scottish football; urges the SFA to ensure that all VAR decisions, and any other decisions requested by a club involved, are made publicly available on such a request, and believes that, if the SFA and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) continue with what it considers is their ongoing culture of secrecy, then there is a need to consider an independent regulator for football, similar to the plans reportedly due to be introduced into the UK Parliament, but one which would be unique to the circumstances of Scottish football.”

The Scottish Football Association published a statement in reaction to Rangers’ statement regarding the controversy surrounding the video assistant referee (VAR): “The Scottish FA is disappointed by the contents of the most recent statement issued by Rangers in relation to a match incident that occurred during the club’s game against Celtic in the Premiership.”

“Chief Executive James Bisgrove and Director of Football Operations Creag Robertson were present at a private meeting with Crawford Allan, who is the Head of Referee Operations, in order to discuss the situation in question, which included the utilization of matchday audio. We were informed by the chief executive that the meeting had been productive and educational, and that it had been conducted in a friendly manner.

It does not appear that this is reflected in the statement that the club has released.

In the course of the discussion, it was brought to everyone’s attention that the incident in question was a subjective handball, and that the video assistant referee did not consider it to be a mistake that was sufficiently plain and evident to warrant a referral to the On Field Review.

In addition, the offside would not have been mentioned at the time because it was not a factor in the decision-making process of the video assistant referee about the handball. Within Clydesdale House, it was brought to everyone’s attention that if the video assistant referee had deemed the event to be a handball offence and requested that the referee do an On Field Review, then the Attacking Phase of Play would have been reviewed, and an offside would have been determined. A evaluation of the process of information sharing is currently being conducted in order to eliminate any potential uncertainty that may arise in the future. This supplemental information was communicated to broadcasters throughout the game.

It was generally agreed upon that the occurrence could not have resulted in the awarding of a penalty kick in any circumstance, and that it did not have any bearing on the outcome of the match in its entirety.

There are numerous ways in which the PGMOL system serves as a model for Scotland’s VAR protocol, and we are in constant communication with our colleagues in England on the sharing of information and the enhancement of our procedures. In Scotland, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been operating for a little more than a year, although in England, it has been running for more than four years.

Since the summer, we have made it a point to ensure that Key Match Incidents are evaluated and communicated to all clubs following each and every full round of 11 Premiership contests, regardless of whether or not audio is used. This will be something that we continue to do, and the KMI will also be shared with the Independent Review Panel so that they may consider it and provide their opinion.

“Finally, we would like to bring to your attention posts that were made by a recent official media partner of the club concerning the requests that were made during the private meeting that were instantly denied. We would like to request that club representatives demonstrate a higher level of responsibility in matters of this nature, particularly in light of recent occurrences that have occurred in European football that have put the safety of match officials at risk and resulted in public condemnation.

“Rangers FC today met with Scottish FA officials to discuss the VAR handball call and subsequent miscommunications from Saturday’s Old Firm match,” was the initial update that Rangers provided regarding the situation to the Scottish Football Association.

The decision of the video assistant referee (VAR) to rule that there was no handball was deemed to be erroneous by the meeting’s attendees.

It has been brought to my attention that the audio recording does not contain any discussion of a possible offside at the moment that the handball decision was made. Additionally, Rangers is also upset by the quickness with which the incorrect no-handball call was made regarding the game.

Rangers has made a request to the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to make the audio available to the public and provide an explanation for this decision as well as any future contentious decisions that involve all clubs. This would be the standard procedure in England for a decision of this nature.

“The club has made a number of specific requests, and it is hoping that the Scottish FA will respond to them in order to improve the situation going forward,”

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