Rangers fans are today making a big deal of yesterday’s incident in London between Spurs and visiting Brighton. Spurs’ Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg mistimed a tackle and felled Kaoru Mitoma, in a sure-fire penalty. Referee Stuart Atwell did not award the spot kick, but tellingly, VAR did not overrule him either, in clear echoes of an incident north of the border earlier that day.
See, we highly doubt cheating was taking place in the English Premier League, but clearly a massive error was made both by the on-turf referee, and by the VAR officials who should have overturned the mistake.
They didn’t, and Brighton succumbed to a late Kane strike.
Just as earlier that day, a clear goal for Morelos was ruled out as a foul on Alistair Johnston, when it was clear to all that there was no foul.
The difference? England’s body, Professional Game Match Officials Limited, of referees, or PGMOL, have formally apologised to Brighton for the mistake, admitting that’s exactly what it was, and while Brighton don’t now have three points to their credit, they can at least take the high-ground knowing they were done.
We are not going to hold our breath for an apology by the Scottish refs or the SFA, after a similar honking mistake was made by both Kevin Clancy and Nick Walsh.
We have come close to accusing Walsh of cheating, given he clearly saw what we all did, but of course, in England it was just a blatant human error, so we’re willing to give Walsh the benefit of the doubt that he’s just, like Clancy, made a massive gaffe on this occasion.
If they’re getting this stuff wrong in the ‘world’s best and richest league’ with supposedly the best refereeing on the planet, it’s quite understandable that in the third-world of Scotland they’re certainly going to make big mistakes.
But the difference here is Rangers have no chance even of getting an apology, and certainly not in the double-quick time Brighton got one.
Mistakes do happen, and we’re well aware of human fallibility. But owing to the fact it’s Scotland, and Celtic won, we reckon there’s a dog in hell’s chance of any apology being forthcoming for this huge error.
Maybe it really was on purpose after all…