Pundits have ‘changed their minds’ on Rangers shirt pull…

Pundits have ‘changed their minds’ on Rangers shirt pull…
HAMILTON, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 07: Brian Easton of Hamilton Academical scores an own which is Rangers first goal as James Tavernier of Rangers has his shirt pulled by Scott McMann of Hamilton Academical during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Hamilton Academical and Rangers at Hope CBD Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Hamilton, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Is the pulling of an opponent’s shirt a justifiable penalty?

Before answering that question, I just want to say yours truly stated only a few short weeks ago that no-one here could remember the last time a Scottish ref ever gave a shirt pull decision for us. So, for a ref to now give the correct decision is incredible (!)

But (as we could all predict) the pundits are now screaming that yesterday’s foul against Morelos was never in a million years a penalty.

So, I went back to December 29th 2019 to watch the famous Katic penalty to check my sanity, and as I went through the footage, frame by frame, it is clear that the ref got this one 100% right. As I will now explain.

In the Celtic match, as the corner is kicked, the first point to note is though Katic is clearly holding Christopher Julien’s shirt, it does not prevent Julien running towards the goal. In fact, Jullen was running so fast he overran the ball, and had to try to backtrack.

The second point is….he never got “near” the ball. Aribo cleared the ball before it would have fallen to Julien.

Then there is the final point. The unanimous decision by the pundits watching was this was a clear penalty, even though the shirt pull was not that strong, and the ball was cleared before it reached the player.

So, why is this relevant for yesterday’s game against Dundee? Well Morelos also didn’t get to ball; but he was close to the ball. The second point is, in this case there was no-one between him and the ball when he was being held back; and, if he could have touched the ball as it went just a foot or so past him, it is clear that there would have been a high chance that Morelos would have placed the ball into the net.

Which means, if all things are taken to be equal, the ref’s decision yesterday was correct. Ranger’s penalty was valid. A shirt was pulled, and it interfered with Morelos being able to reach the ball.

But what do we know? In this case all the pundits watching the match (I assume they were all watching the match?) state this was NOT a penalty.

I guess these pundits also just look at “only the facts”.

As we said a few short weeks ago, the fact is shirt pulling is only a penalty in Scotland when the defender plays for Rangers. And that is the only fact the pundits care about.

If anyone has a different take on this…answers on a postcard, to the usual address.

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  1. I personally didn’t think yesterday’s decision should have been a penalty but I also didn’t think Celtic should have been awarded one for the Katic pull. I think if the player has no chance of making contact with the ball then it has no impact on the play but I will admit I don’t know if the rule states that must be the case. Regardless, you are right though, they are either both penalties or both not. The scenario is the exact same but as has been seen multiple times, when the decision goes in our favour the MSM will say it is evidently the wrong decision regardless of what has been set as precedent.

  2. Just think back to Sakala at Tannadice clearest shirt pull you will ever see without a penalty being given almost certainly cost us 2 points

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