CELTIC are awaiting answers from the SFA in the fall-out of Rangers’ controversial penalty-kick award in the 3-3 draw at Ibrox on Sunday.

The Hoops hierarchy have written to Scottish football rulers for clarification over the flashpoint incident 10 minutes after the interval with the champions two goals ahead.

The Parkhead bosses are convinced referee John Beaton did NOT see the revealing set of images in the moment Alistair Johnston knocked the ball away from Fabio Silva in the box.

The Portuguese forward went down in theatrical fashion to earn a booking from the official, a punishment following a series of embarrassing falls from the home player in the first-half.


VIEWING POINT…what John Beaton saw on the VAR monitor as Fabio Silva prepares to hit the ground following Alistair Johnston’s tackle. 

Johnston had already picked up a booking after such a ridiculous action from the on-loan Wolves striker with the whistler buying into his blatant rolling about on that occasion.

Celtic chiefs have concerns over the VAR footage shown to Beaton on his touchline monitor and believe the clip did not include the moment the Hoops defender touched the ball before Silva made contact with their player’s outstretched right leg.

The VAR footage was displayed by Sky Sports, but the slowed-down section did not include the initial challenge. Under IFAB rules, a tackle can still be an offence if the defending player gets the ball first and the officials deem the tackle to be careless, reckless or has excess force.

The Hoops gaffers are adamant Johnston’s attempt did not come within those thresholds and are demading answers as to how the crucial decision was reached.

A Celtic spokesperson said: “The club has been in correspondence with the Scottish FA regarding the VAR process throughout the season, and has also played an active part in the SPFL working group which is seeking to work with the Scottish FA to improve standards for all clubs.

“We have raised our further concerns regarding the VAR process in the match with the Scottish FA and await a response.”

ONE…Alistair Johnston makes contact with the ball as referee John Beaton gets a clear view.

TWO…the ball is cleared as Johnston’s leg remains outstretched. 

THREE…Fabio Silva begins to go to ground.

FOUR…Johnston is grounded as Silva dives forward.

FIVE…Silva completes the theatrical motion with Beaton still having an uninterrupted view of the incident which originally brought a booking for the Portuguese player.

With the visitors 2-0 ahead after first-half strikes from Daizen Maeda and Matt O’Riley (pen), James Tavernier swept in the award to throw his team a lifeline.

The hosts then equalised through an unfortunate deflection from Callum McGregor as he attempted to block a shot from Abdullah Sima in the 86th minute, but 71 seconds later, Adam Idah lashed Scotland’s title kings back into the lead.

A stoppage-time effort from Rabbi Motondo snatched a point for Philippe Clement’s side.

Shortly after the dramatic derby confrontation, Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, as reported in CQN, observed: “Ali [Johnston], who was on a booking, has to be really careful in the second-half with the timing of his tackles and I thought he was perfect with it.

“I thought the referee got it absolutely right on the field. He connected with the ball, the player simulates and it was right.”

The champions have aready been at war with SFA following the controvery-laden 2-0 loss to Hearts at Tynecastle last month where referee Don Robertson, after interventions from his VAR colleague Beaton, made two remarkable game-changing decisions.

SEEING RED…referee Don Robertson dismisses a stunned Yang Hyun-jun in the 2-0 loss at Tynecastle.

He red-carded Yang Hyun-jun in the 14th minute after his initial booking for a high-boot challenge on Alex Cochrane. The South Korean winger copped a two-game ban and an appeal from the club was thrown out.

A phantom penalty-kick was also awarded to the Edinburgh club just before the interval when the ball brushed the arm of Tomoki Iwata. Robertson had a clear view of the incident and not one of seven home players close to the action claimed for a spot-kick.

However, after a quick review of the moment, Robertson pointed to the spot and Jorge Grant fired Hearts into the lead against the 10-man visitors.

Rodgers was banned for one game – with another suspended until the end of the season – after describing the performances of both officials as “incompetent”.

Now comes the latest chapter with Celtic again seeking answers from the country’s ruling body.

What happens next?

Watch this space!

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