VAR may have made a huge mistake in the most recent Celtic match when it looked as though the Bhoys should have been awarded a penalty.
Celtic got off to a decent start when Anthony Ralston headed his side into the lead after just 14 minutes, but on the stroke of halftime, after a lengthy VAR check – with the technology in place fo the first time – Hearts were awarded a penalty.
Lawrence Shankland equalised from the spot but shortly after the goal, the Bhoys came forward again and when Forrest clipped the ball into the box, it appeared to hit the arm of Michael Smith.
The referee didn’t give the penalty and VAR only had a brief look before allowing play to continue. Upon watching a replay of the incident, however, it’s hard to understand why it wasn’t given.
TIF thoughts on Celtic and the handball…
It seems as though plenty of others also felt that it should have been a penalty. Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner told BBC Sportsound that it was ‘puzzling’ that the incident was only checked for a ‘matter of seconds’.
Was it a penalty?
He said: “What’s puzzling is the time it took for the penalty to be awarded. The decision took a long, long time. Yet then, for the potential Michael Smith handball incident, it was a matter of seconds!
On top of that Chris Sutton simply said ‘amazing’ while adding some crying and laughing emojis.
The only explanation could be that VAR may have viewed the proximity of Forrest and Smith too close to allow the Hearts man to get out of the way, but it does appear if if he moves his arm towards the ball.
All in all, a far from ideal start to life in Scotland for VAR.