If The Tavernier “Elbow Ball” Isn’t A Penalty, How Could Those Against Celtic Be?

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I wrote earlier about VAR and its nefarious impact so far.

But I was asked to comment on one specific incident, the Tavernier “elbow ball” which VAR looked at and then casually dismissed.

Is it a penalty? Well, let me put it this way; if that ball comes off Juranovic at Ibrox then I would put every penny I have on the spot kick being given, and that’s answer enough.

The rulebook is so open to interpretation that we’ve already fallen victim to softer decisions than that whilst at least one which was even more stonewall was denied Hibs last Friday.

As I said earlier, don’t let anyone pretend this is inconsistency. It’s very consistent, so much so that you could make a fortune betting on the pattern of it. As long as the Usual Suspects are making these decisions, then they will continue to flow in one direction.

If some of the ones given against us are penalty kicks then of course that was too. But this is where the can of worms ought to be open and nobody in our press corps appears to want to get the lid off it.

The very people who are supposed to ensure that our game is corruption free – that is, those are supposed to hold those in charge to account – don’t want the job.

And it doesn’t help when managers don’t, and won’t, help themselves.

Goodwin was so busy feeling sorry for himself at full time that he accepted the seven minutes as probably being fair when anyone could see how ridiculous it was, and he didn’t mention the decisions at all.

How many times have clubs been the recipients of astonishingly bad decisions at Ibrox and come out to the media to say “this is what happens when you visit Glasgow …” as though some of the more egregious ones would have gone in Celtic’s favour.

If you ask me, Tavernier’s one edges out of 50/50 because he used his arm to deflect the ball.

That seems fairly straightforward to me when you watch it. This wasn’t just one that deflected off him; he clearly uses his arm to direct the flightpath of the football, and that makes it deliberate and if the rules do now say that neither hand nor arm are to be “used” in that manner then it’s a much more obvious one than the ones we’ve already suffered.

The only difference is in the interpretation of officials, and I strongly suspect that has more to do with the colour of the jerseys than with anyone’s view of the rulebook.

Of course it was a penalty, if for no other reason than that 100 times out of 100 it would have been given against us.

I don’t even doubt it for a second.

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  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    There is nothing like the truth. ??

  • Ryan Derry says:

    I believe sky play a big part in the var scenario. Easily put, if there’s no title race title challenges then the sky contract money will be lower no one wants to watch one horse race. So in order to keep them in the race?? and make it look more of a fight then the game rules get put on the back burner

  • Frankie says:

    James this complete var thing is a farce and it will always be amateurish as long as it helps them, it’s about time these fools were shown up about all this barefaced cheating.

  • Benjamin says:

    There’s 3 different ways a handball can be given, and we’ve seen potentially all 3 in the last week involving them:

    (1) deliberate handball is everywhere and always an offense regardless of any other circumstances and also comes with a yellow card. James has done a good job highlighting this one.

    (2) inadvertent handball where the offending player immediately scores. ‘Immediate’ is not specifically defined in the rule, but it’s been interpreted by FIFA as no other player from either team gaining possession of the ball between the offense and the goal. There was a claim by Aberdeen yesterday that the ball bounced off Sakala’s hand/arm immediately before his goal. Like the first one James mentioned, this one was never reviewed. But crucially on this part of the rule, it doesn’t matter what the position of the hand/arm is – if the ball makes hand contact it will ALWAYS be considered a handball and the goal disallowed.

    (3) the last one has been the most contentious, but is not as convoluted as some people like to complain about. The offense is given if the ball makes contact with the hand or arm when the hand or arm is in a position making the body unnaturally larger. A lot of handwringing has been made of ‘unnatural position’, but the actual language is ‘unnaturally larger’, and this is being interpreted around Europe as any arm position other than tucked in next to or behind the body. In other words, if the player had no arms at all, would the ball still make contact with the player? If not, it’s a handball offense. This is a ridiculous rule and interpretation of the rule, but officials across UEFA have been pretty consistent this year in applying the rule as described. There was a claim for this yesterday on their 3rd goal as it appeared like the ball glanced off Goldson’s outstretched arm immediately before Arfield smashed it into the back of the net. And like all the others, the officials didn’t even deem it worth of a second look.

  • John Copeland says:

    What about the biggest fake ,in every sense ,Kris Boyd on Sky last night ! He said ,certain hand balls are not all penalties …. This is the biggest advocate for VAR ,then does not want to use it in the most contentious circumstances …. What a waste of a hairweave …..

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      It’s no even a hair weave ! It’s the latest ‘spray on hair’ he’s usin. Hair in a tin. Just don’t go oot in the rain. End up wi eyebrows 5 ins thick.

    • Martin.H says:

      The most consistent player against ibrox club last season Scott Brown, the first thing Goodwin does is drop him but hey, Scott in the games he played scored in one and took 4 points which went a long way to us winning the title, job well done.

  • Dando says:

    As we ALL knew…… VAR would change nothing as it’s the same cheating official’s operating in the new equipment…..


  • paul obrien says:

    As long as Celtic supporters turn up with their cash our board could not care less £££££

  • John A says:

    Why would they ever change? Lawell and Co have never stood upto them. They can do what they want, Fergus wouldn’t have accepted that.

  • michael mccann says:

    Absolutely spot on. However, Celtic have all the evidence so far, why are the not taking legal action against all those involved in this cheating. All it takes is a few penalties and few red cards and those nine points are gone. All that hard work by the manager and players and the amount of money of money and titles lost is possible

  • Mark Tempany says:

    This is how it always have been. The “people” corruptly ruining or running Scottish football don’t even consider thereselves Scottish their allegiance will always be to the English monarchy they even refused to go to a world cup Scotland qualified for because Scotland didn’t win the home nations. Then look at the numbers of Celtic European champions played in a Scotland jersey. It is blatant sectarianism.

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