Celtic: VAR may have made a huge mistake in missing blatant handball

Image for Celtic: VAR may have made a huge mistake in missing blatant handball

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. 

In the Scottish Premiership this weekend, Ange Postecoglou’s men travelled away from home to play Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle Park.

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.

Share this article


  • Joe says:

    Today we witnessed first hand exactly what we expected in advance.
    VAR will be used as much as and in as many ways as possible to derail the Celtic train.
    I had zero complaints about either of the penalties awarded to Hearts.
    But the blatant ignoring of a deliberate handball, well, arm ball actually, right after the first award for Hearts, was a sign of what lies ahead for Celtic.
    Let’s not kid ourselves here either. The ref was looking right at Smith as he swung his left arm out to block the ball. He saw it. In fact, there was zero need for VAR intervention. Nothing could have been clearer. This was a penalty and a card for Smith. Deliberate handball.
    But the delays this farcical technology will cause will also work against us and make no mistake, will ve used by the bigotted refs to slow Celtic down whenever necessary.
    We knew going in this is just another hurdle. It won’t make bad referees any better and it won’t stop blatantly incompetent cheats suddenly become fair.
    Be prepared for even more corrupt calls against us.

  • Jack says:

    It’s not var it’s the man with decision Steve McLean only on Wed he officiated Wednesday premier Cup game some decisions were terribly biased I’d call played1 minute of extra time when they were 7or 8 subs that’s 3or 4 minutes when celtic looked like they were going to score with evey attack this man makes other refs dishonest but people say I’m a Celtic_fc_1888 supporter so what he thisman has previous I cold make an hour programme showing his biase against celtic remember Inverness at hampden Celtic_fc_1888 1up deliberate hand ball penalty never given and there is so much more why no want makes a video of like blunder refs only the should make it biase refs mans John hartson says celtic played to teams today hearts and var by the way second hearts penalty stone waller just like hand ball ralston goal ref has ti let play go two players were at it very poor our game is ruined by bad and biased officials

Comments are closed.