“The game was decided by the officials. On the field and outside of the field,” Rodgers

Ever felt cheated?…

Brendan Rodgers took the highly unusual decision to criticise the match officials after his side’s controversial 2-0 defeat at Tynecastle. That’s a result that keeps theRangers top of the league and one that has delighted ALL of their supporters, including presumably the one making the calls that dramatically changed this match in the VAR van.

John Beaton, again

At his post match media conference the Celtic manager could barely hide his anger at the impact that John Beaton on VAR had on the proceedings. “My feeling is the game was decided by the officials. On the field and outside of the field. You guys know me well enough and I have been around long enough to know that I don’t really comment on officials.”

Compare and contrast

Rodgers continued: “I know that they make mistakes and whatever else but today that felt like really poor officiating. I think the first one – the sending off – there is no force but if you show a still image of that then, of course, it looks like a high boot with the head near it.

“It is not the reality of the move. If you watch the move again Don (Robertson), actually got it right on the field, it was a high boot, okay, so it’s a yellow card. There is no malice or force and then for John Beaton to look at that on VAR supposedly under no pressure and to say that was a sending-off, I find that incredible.

A poor day for the officials

“The second one is worse. To have a penalty go against you for that then there would be penalties every single weekend and midweek. I don’t know what Tommo (Tomoki Iwata) is supposed to do.

“He is jumping and he’s got a nudge and he’s coming down and the ball goes onto his arm. There is no intention to move it or anything and you get the penalty against you. Again they get the chance to look at it and see it, so to give those two decisions left us with an uphill task in the game.

“Credit to my players because they fought and kept going and their goalkeeper has made a few good saves which could have changed the momentum of the game. It was a poor day for the officials,” the Celtic manager stated.

VAR is not the problem here. That’s clear. It’s incompetence

Rodgers confirmed that he did have a word with the referee after the match. “I spoke to him (Don Robertson) in the tunnel just briefly, but it’s a waste of time if I’m honest. There is no change and I also think as well that VAR is not the problem here. That’s clear. It’s incompetence.

`’I think the first one is a great example of the game being refereed outside of the pitch. This is the thing everyone is talking about, that the officials do their job and if it’s something that’s clear and obvious maybe step in. The referee made the decision and someone outside made another decision to say it was a sending-off. So that’s the game being refereed outside of the field and in big games that costs you.”

Asked if that was the worst officiating he’s had in his two spells as Celtic manager, Brendan Rodgers accepted that this was the absolute worst of the lot.

“I think so. In my time up here, I’m not one to have a go at refs because I understand it’s a very very difficult position they are in. I try to respect decisions and give the benefit of the doubt.

“But I think when I see that level of incompetence is the only word I can use, then that makes me worry for the game. In such a tight title race, which it is and it’s fantastic to be involved in, that can make the difference. That today made a difference for us.”

On the day theRangers needed favours the most they duly arrived.  This is Scottish football’s shame. Watch for yourselves…

Tags Brendan Rodgers Hearts v Celtic John Beaton
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