Rangers have accused the Scottish Football Association of acting in an “unacceptable” manner and said they have so far failed to disclose VAR audio from Saturday’s Old Firm game.
The Ibrox club were left unhappy when an apparent handball by Celtic defender Alistair Johnston in the box went unpunished and the referee wasn’t called over to the monitor to check it again during their 2-1 defeat.
Footage was shared with Sky Television from the VAR control room showing that Rangers forward Abdallah Sima was in an offside position during the build up to the incident.
However in a statement released on Sunday Rangers say they have since learned that no penalty was awarded as VAR official, Willie Collum, concluded a handball offence had not occurred.
Club officials say they stand ready to meet with the SFA in person or virtually as they bid to “understand the process” of the decision making.
And say that the governing body are refusing to release the audio or discuss the matter until next Wednesday, which would be five days after the game took place, a timescale which Rangers have called “unacceptable”.
A Rangers spokesperson said: “Despite repeated Rangers FC requests, the Scottish FA have so far failed to disclose the VAR audio to allow the club to understand the process around the non-award of a penalty in the first half of yesterday’s Old Firm match.
“Rangers officials stand ready to meet in-person or virtually with the Scottish FA at any time to hear and discuss the audio. However, the Scottish FA are refusing to both share the VAR audio and meet until at least Wednesday, five days after the Old Firm match and after the next round of Scottish Premiership fixtures. This is clearly unacceptable and heightens Rangers’ concerns over the lack of transparency, for which the need is urgent.
“Rangers have learned no penalty was awarded as the VAR official, Willie Collum, concluded a handball offence had not occurred in the first half. While the club and most observers are astonished by this ‘professional’ view, we remain perplexed and concerned about the Scottish FA’s motivations for sharing an offside image with broadcasters during the second half, when this was not the original reason why the penalty was not awarded.
“England’s Premier League and other leading European Leagues operate on a ‘nothing to hide’ basis, where open communication and full transparency are available to clubs and the public on contentious VAR calls in a timely manner.
“On a weekend where not only Rangers but also fellow Scottish FA member clubs have major questions over potentially match-changing incidents, our governing body would do well to heed that same mantra.”
The Scottish FA would not comment but it is understood Rangers chief executive officer James Bisgrove spoke with Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell on Sunday.
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