Rangers have indeed appealed Jose Cifuentes’ red card from Saturday which could, with a success, make him available for the League Cup final this weekend, but the reality is it was a stone-wall red card which only failed to be a straight red thanks to Kevin Clancy’s incompetence.
Ibrox Noise always likes to call incidents fairly, and while we’ll always have blue-tinted specs on like any Rangers fan should, we also know serious foul play when we see it.
And the tackle, while unlikely to be malicious, was 100% a straight red as serious foul play if not quite violent conduct.
On Sky Sports News’ ref watch, even Dermot Gallacher endorsed the sending off:
“It’s the way he’s come in. He’s almost stretched to make sure he gets the top of him. I think it’s a red card. There’s no need to do that whatsoever.”
Funny thing is how Tom Miller and Kevin Thomson on RTV reacted in outrage at the use of VAR for this tackle, defending it as fine and not worthy of a sending off, until further replays from different angles saw a notable change in their tune and they started to concede that yes, it was a reckless and nasty tackle.
We don’t take Cifu to be a malicious player, and we don’t believe he intended to hurt the lad, but he was careless and he did leave his studs on him in a very aggressive manner.
But Rangers are doing the right thing to appeal, because if there’s even a slim hope of having an extra man available for the final, it should be taken.
But the chances of winning this appeal are zero.