Celtic appeal Yang red card and raise 'serious concerns' with Scottish FA

The club is unhappy with the decisions made in their defeat to Hearts.

Celtic appeal Yang red card and raise ‘serious concerns’ with Scottish FA SNS Group

Celtic have submitted an appeal against the red card shown to Hyunjun Yang during the defeat to Hearts and say they have raised “serious concerns” about the standard of refereeing in the Premiership match.

Yang was sent off for a high challenge on Alex Cochrane but only after a VAR review had prompted referee Don Robertson to overturn his initial decision from a yellow card to red.

Robertson also awarded a hotly-debated penalty to Celtic in the first half, which Zander Clark saved, and then awarded a spot-kick to Hearts for a handball by Tomoki Iwata when he made contact with the ball after being bumped by Alistair Johnston as players jostled in the box.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was scathing in his criticism of Robertson and VAR John Beaton after the match and the club have now taken action to appeal one decision and make their feelings known to the authorities.

A club statement read: “Celtic Football Club can confirm that it will be appealing the red card issued to Hyunjun Yang during Sunday’s match against Hearts at Tynecastle.

“We have also written to the SFA to raise our serious concerns regarding the use of VAR and the decisions made within the match. 

“As we have said before, for some time Celtic has sought to work with the footballing authorities with the aim of improving standards associated with refereeing and the use of VAR in Scotland, something which is clearly in the wider interests of everyone within the game.”

In his post-match media conference, Rodgers slated the standards of decision-making and said that it could affect the title race.

“My feeling is that the game was decided by the officials, on the field and outside of the field,” he said.

“You guys (the media) will know me long enough to know that I don’t really comment on officials – they make mistakes and whatever else – but today that felt like really really poor officiating.

“The first one is the sending off when there is no force. Show a still image of that and of course you will see a foot up with the head near it, but it’s not the reality of the move.

“Don Robertson actually got it right on the field. It was a high boot, so it’s a yellow card – no malice or force.

“For John Beaton to actually look at that in VAR, supposedly under no pressure, and say that was a sending off, I find that incredible.

“The second one (Hearts’ penalty) is worse. If you have a penalty go against you for that then there will be penalties every single weekend and midweek.

“I don’t know what he (Iwata) is supposed to do. Tomo is jumping, he got a nudge, he is coming down, the ball falls on to his arm and there is no intention to move.

“Then you get the penalty against and he gets the chance to look at it and see it. That really left us with an uphill task in the game but credit to my players, they kept going, their keeper has made a few good saves.

“But it was a poor day for the officials. I try to respect decisions and give the benefit of the doubt, but when I see that level of incompetence, which is the only word I can use, then that makes me worry for the game.

“In such a tight title race – which it is, and it’s fantastic to be involved in – that can make the difference. And that today made the difference for us.”

Rodgers’ comments could see him in trouble with the Scottish FA, whose rules forbid any criticism that would “indicate bias or incompetence on the part of such match official”. The disciplinary process is not fast-tracked for managers’ comments but could see the Celtic boss face a touchline ban if he is cited and a panel feels he broke the rules.

The weekend’s debate also provoked a response from the Scottish Senior Football Referees’ Association, whose committee said they were “extremely disappointed and concerned by another weekend of targeted and personalised criticism of its members”.

A statement issued to the PA news agency added: “It has become too easy throughout the course of this season for managers and clubs to turn the focus – and resultant fan ire – on to match officials, often to deflect from team performance and results.

“We fully appreciate the importance of matches, especially now as we head into the defining period of the season for the destiny of the championship, European and top-six places, as well as relegation and play-off matters.

“Nonetheless, match officials should be able to carry out their duties without fear of them impacting their personal lives, their personal safety and the safety and security of their families.

“It is regrettable that criticism, which we generally accept is a part of the game for players and coaches as well as referees, has become much more frequent, disproportionate, and personalised towards our members.

“Everyone involved in Scottish football has a responsibility to behave professionally and respectfully and to understand the consequences of their actions.”

Kilmarnock have also appealed against a red card from the weekend’s games. The Rugby Park club are looking to overturn the sending off of Lewis Mayo after the defender tangled with Scott Tiffoney during their draw with Dundee.

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