CELTIC legend Kenny Dalglish insists Brendan Rodgers “had every right to be angry” after having his say on the performances of the SFA officials following the champions’ controversial loss at Tynecastle on March 3.

Yang Hyun-jun was red-carded in the 14th minute after a bewildering about-turn by referee Don Robertson following an intervention by VAR assistant John Beaton.

Just before the interval, with the score locked at 0-0, there was another interruption from the man at the multi screens that saw Hearts awarded a ludicrous penalty-kick for a phanton handball from Tomoki Iwata.

Jorge Grant gleefully accepted the gift and fired the Edinburgh club into the lead as they eventually overcame their 10-man opponents 2-0 on an afternoon dominated by puzzling decisions on and off the field.

LOOKING DOWN…Brendan Rodgers ponders his next move as red-carded Yang Hyun-jun heads up the Tynecastle tunnel.

Rodgers flagged up the “incompetent” displays of Beaton and Robertson and was hit by a two-game touchline ban on Thursday – with one of the suspensions suspended until the end of the season – which will see the Irishman in the stand at Livingston for the midday kick-off today.

Sir Kenny, though, backed the Celtic manager and said: “He was critical of the match officials and chose to highlight that after the game.

“He spoke in a calm and measured manner. I don’t think he was over the top. He had every right to be angry as some of the decisions were wrong, particularly the penalty award against them.

“Yet, he was punished. Were the match officials sanctioned in any shape or form?

WHISTLING UP A STORM…Brendan Rodgers attempts to attract the attention of his Celtic players.

“As a manager, you must have the right to defend your football club. That is very important. A manager has a responsibility to represent and defend all.”

Dalglish, speaking to the Sunday Post, continued: “Supporters also want to hear a manager stand up for their club.

“They will ask serious questions of you if you don’t. And would be right to do so. But it would seem the SFA doesn’t want to hear any words of criticism.

“Is the day coming when they will try to ban managers from offering an opinion? The bottom line is that our officials need to be held accountable when they mess up.

“That is only right for the good of our game.”

THE END GAME…Brendan Rodgers acknowledges the Celtic support at the conclusion of a controversial confrontation in the capital.

The former Parkhead goal hero added: “They are far too inconsistent and the decision-making should be much better, especially now they have the use of VAR.

“But it seems as though one handball will be punished for one week, the next week another referee will simply wave play on.

“It’s no wonder managers, players and supporters are furious most Saturday nights.”

Rodgers will return to the touchline for the champions’ visit to Ibrox a week today.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Livingston v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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