IT was just VAR-CICAL at Hampden yesterday as once again technical assistant Andrew Dallas baffled fans at the game and millions of worldwide viewers watching the action on the Viaplay satellite channel.

The incident that created such puzzlement arrived in the 27th minute of the League Cup Final. It was still goalless when Aberdeen swung a left-wing corner-kick into the Rangers 18-yard box.

Referee Don Robertson completely missed a blatant shirt pull by the Ibrox side’s Todd Cantwell on Dons opponent Stefan Garternmann as the ball swirled into the danger zone.

HOLD ON…Todd Cantwell gets a firm grip of Stefan Garternmann’s jersey as a corner-kick drops into the Ibrox penalty box at Hampden.

Remarkably, Dallas, sitting in front of the multi screens in the Glasgow office, didn’t spot the obvious foul that should have led to a penalty-kick for the Pittodrie club.

The onfield match official did blow for a foul a split-second later, adjudging Ester Sokler had bumped James Tavernier, but the ball was clearly in motion at the time Cantwell decided he would get an illegal hold of his rival’s shirt to impede any scoring opportunity smack in front of goal.

YOU NEED HANDS…Todd Cantwell makes a move towards his Aberdeen opponent.

GETTING SHIRTY…Cantwell holds on as Garternmann tries to break free.

LETTING GO…Cantwell prepares to loosen his grip after distracting the Dons defender.  

Stick-on penalty-kick? Nope, nothing to see here, play on. You had to feel sympathy for the Danish defender and his Dons team-mates.

Just last month, Garternmann was punished when VAR intervened as Philippe Clement’s side were awarded a fourth-minute stoppage-time penalty-kick at Pittodrie while the visitors trailed 1-0 as the clock ticked down.

A corner-kick was sent in from the left and centre-back Connor Goldson dived in spectacularly theatrical fashion in an unashamedly transparent attempt to win his side a spot-kick.

Referee Nick Walsh witnessed nothing untoward as the ball was cleared, but his VAR assistant had a word in his ear to review the incident on his touchline monitor.

The eagle-eyed technical assistant had spotted an apparent infringement on the edge of the box. As the onfield whistler trotted over to have a look at the screens, we were all aware of the inevitable outcome.

PENALTY…Ibrox defender Connor Goldson and Aberdeen’s Stefan Garternmann have a coming together. VAR offical Andrew Dallas recommended referee Nick Walsh review the incident.  

The VAR official had detected a tug on Goldson’s shirt by Gartenmann which was enough to send the Englishman sprawling as though he had been struck by an invisible wrecking ball. Walsh pointed to the spot and James Tavernier, with his SEVENTY-THIRD penalty-kick of his Ibrox career, slammed the award past keeper Kelle Roos to give his side an unexpected 1-1 draw.

The VAR official that November 26 evening in the north east was Andrew Dallas.

That’s the same techinical whizzkid who missed another obvious shirt pull on Celtic’s Oh Hyeon-gyu when Celtic played Ross County in Dingwall 22 days earlier.

On that occasion, with the game goalless in the 21st minute, home defender Will Nightingale just about ripped the shirt off the back of the South Korean striker when he tried to get his head on the end of a left-wing corner-kick from David Turnbull.

NO PENALTY…Oh Hyeon-gyu clearly has his jersey pulled by Ross County defender Will Nightingale. VAR official Andrew Dallas saw nothing wrong.

David Munro was the man entrusted with the whistle in the Highlands that afternoon and had a good view of the incident, as images later proved. However, he detected no infringement and his assistant in Glasgow in front of the screens agreed.

TV pictures conclusively proved Oh had been impeded, but both officials, on and off the field, missed the shirt pull.

The VAR assistant that afternoon was Andrew Dallas.

The same Andrew Dallas who didn’t see anything wrong with Cantwell’s shirt pull on Gartenmann – an action witnessed by an astonished worldwide audience.

The same Andrew Dallas who once awarded Rangers FOUR penalty-kicks in one game against St Mirren in February 2019.







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