Scottish Premiership

Celtic: Questions asked of VAR as Matt O’Riley punished for handball

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The referee and VAR may have made a big mistake in the most recent Celtic match after wrongly awarding a penalty against Matt O’Riley for a handball.

The Bhoys battled hard to come away with all three points in their final Scottish Premiership game before the break for the World Cup, winning 2-1 at home against Ross County.

Goals from David Turnbull and Sead Haksabanovic were enough to give Celtic the win but their task was complicated when referee David Munro pointed to the spot in the 50th minute with the scores all level.

David Cancola took his chance well but it’s fair to say the call wasn’t made without some controversy, seeing as this footage shows O’Riley’s hand didn’t exactly have the chance to be anywhere else before the ball popped up and hit it.

TIF Thoughts on the penalty and Celtic…

In the BBC match report, the incident was described as ‘a controversial penalty’. Going off some of the other handball decisions we’ve seen in Scotland of late, it’s not hard to see why.

Was it a penalty?





Indeed, back in October, the Bhoys were denied a penalty when Heart of Midlothian defender Michael Smith handled the ball inside his own box. That decision seemed just as clear cut, it not more so, than this most recent call against O’Riley.

With that in mind, it’s fair to ask some questions about the standard of refereeing and the consistent application of VAR in SPFL games. Celtic still managed to claim a win on this occasion but they certainly have every right to feel a touch bemused with regard to this latest big call.

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Interesting first question, how many Celtic fans were inside Ibrox?

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1 comment

  • Jack says:

    Smiths hand ball not a penalty this one was not munro was a disgraced gave celtic nothing some of decisions baffling or he’s either doesn’t know rules his integrity is questionable goalie picks ball up drops and picks it up no indirect freekick gaikamakous elbowed bleeding from blow to mouth no foul given foul to ross county players ni contact or very little contact Celtic_fc_1888 have to make official or at least let the referee explain his decisions and the way he see it and why don’t the do what rugby and other sports that’s had hawkeye before football clock in stadium stops then starts when decision over same with injuries take the human verdict out of game cause the get so many things wrong least there involved the better it’s only human nature you favour a team that you and your father supported and that affects judgement especially ib derbies or refereeing a team that’s been treated with such not hatred but not liked through your up bringing

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