Saka decision proves VAR works if competent and neutral officials are operating it

The Bukayo Saka incident in the dying seconds of the UEFA Champions League clash between Arsenal and Bayern Munich caused some controversy, but ultimately it was one hundred percent the correct decision.

Referee waved play on

The Gunners playmaker went down in the box after a collision with Bayern Keeper Manuel Neuer. The on field referee waved play on much to the fury of the Arsenal players, management and supporters.

You can’t really blame them as it did look a bit suspect during real time, but a closer inspection during a slow motion replay showed that the referee made a great decision, with VAR also backing the on field official, and rightly so.

Arsenal player was looking for contact

Despite the fury of the English pundits it was the correct decision. Saka clearly made contact with Neuer when he could have stayed on his feet. By the laws of the game it’s not a foul, so case closed. The Arsenal player was looking for the contact.

It was similar to the disgraceful, flawed decision to award Fabio Silva a penalty in Sunday’s Glasgow Derby at Ibrox. It further proves that not all contact is a penalty, if you didn’t know that already.

Sticking to their guns

The referee and the VAR team last night should be applauded for sticking to their guns when it could have been easier to flap under the pressure of the intensity of the baying home crowd and players.

Need for neutral officials 

But they are component professionals and more importantly they are neutrals. Something we badly lack in our game when it comes to match officials. Both Nick Walsh on VAR and John Beaton with the whistle have strong associations with theRangers. Would that be allowed happen at a London, Manchester or Liverpool Derby? Of course it wouldn’t so why does it happen in Scottish football?

Maybe the course of action Celtic should pursue is to take this matter above the Scottish FA’s heads and go to UEFA or even FIFA and ask for their clarification on whether it’s deemed appropriate to have supporters of a club refereeing or running VAR for their matches.

Officials at Ibrox managed 0/3

What the decision in the Arsenal v Bayern Munich game did was prove that the much criticised technology works IF you have competent, reliable and neutral folk operating it. On Sunday the officials at Ibrox managed 0/3.

Incidentally, remember how many penalties that Ryan Kent won for theRangers in domestic football by doing exactly what Silva did at the weekend and Saka did last night. It’s cheating plain and simple, regardless of the club and even if a Celtic player did it.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

Help raise funds for Celtic Youth Academy by playing the Celtic Pools Weekly Lottery and you could win up to £25,000. The lottery is £1 per week and if you join today you will receive a Premium Boxed Celtic Pen & Pencil Set.
Celtic Shorts Social Channels
Celtic Star Bookstore
Celtic Pools