Keith Hackett, the EPL and FIFA accredited ref, says that Celtic’s goal against Livingston should have stood. We all know this. But his interpretation of the incident is particularly amusing. He basically says that the VAR official and the ref decided to interpret the rules in such a way as they essentially acted as mind-readers and not referees.
Furthermore, he has said that this is not the way matches are supposed to be officiated.
“The referee can only make a decision based on an action,” he said. “You can’t start looking at the thought process of the defender, and whether Abada distracted him. You’re making assumptions otherwise. The referee can only judge based on what he has seen.”
Only based on what he has seen.
That’s the clearest explanation for what a referee is supposed to do that you will get. Instead, these guys decided to act on their own interpretation as to whether or not the Livingston defender was trying to play the ball.
Of all the excuses offered so far I think the one they came up with for that decision is the worst yet, and it gets more stinking by the day because officials in this country now feel they have a license to let their imaginations run away with them … or to spin negative calls any way they want. In this case it was as if the decision took time because they looked for whatever pretext they could find, however flimsy, for chopping off the goal.
Hackett went even further though; he seemed to suggest that the rules are written to keep bias out of the process, and that in this case it was allowed to creep in.
“Because human beings are involved, these decisions can change from one time to the next,” he said. And that could be interpreted as him saying that individuals make mistakes or something much more sinister. He could be saying both.
Finally, he thought that for these reasons the initial decision should have stood, with the goal awarded to Ababa.
“I think the VAR should have supported the referee’s process, and then the Scottish FA can come out and give the reasons for why they think he was right.”
And we all know that was a legitimate goal.
We all know the decision is virtually indefensible, and it is hard to believe that this farce was permitted. If the media was willing to do its job and question this stuff properly our officials would have to improve … or play it straight.
As it stands there is no incentive for them to do either.