Ex-ref and former Hibs and Celtic forward have say on Parkhead incidents - 'it's a contact sport'
Easter Road attacker Élie Youan was dismissed for two yellow cards in the first half while Hibs and Celtic were both awarded VAR-assisted penalties. The hosts also had a penalty award rescinded after referee Steven McLean gave the incident a second look on the monitors.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ Ref Watch segment, former English Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher assessed the incident that led to Youan’s sending off, describing it as a ‘strange situation’, adding: “Cameron Carter-Vickers goes to head the ball, and he would say it’s a high boot. Is Youan entitled to put his boot that high? Some would say that Carter-Vickers is leaning down but how high does a boot have to be?
"You’re not meant to have your boot that high, and you have to remember it wasn’t a red card, so it was a reckless challenge rather than a dangerous one. The referee doesn’t think Youan is being fouled first. You need to blot out that it wasn’t a straight red card, it was a second yellow card.
On Hibs’ penalty award, Gallagher added: “I’ve just caught the Hibs penalty there – Starfelt’s held his shirt too long.”
Former Hibs and Celtic forward turned Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker added: “I hope we don’t get to see every tug of a shirt being given as a penalty. I thought it was soft, I don’t think Steven McLean had a good performance at all – I thought all the awards were wrong. The penalty Celtic were given was incredibly soft; there’s no foul from Paul Hanlon on Carter-Vickers. Neither were penalties for me and I think we’re setting a very low bar if that’s the type of stuff we’re looking at.
Refs were crying out for VAR but I don’t see it helping them at all, they’re not using it well. We’ve got to accept that it’s a contact sport, we don’t want every pull of the jersey to be given as a penalty. I see officiating down south regularly and I think there the laws of the game are applied differently.
"The second penalty for Celtic was just a really poor call from the referee in the first place. Liel Abada has just stubbed his toe into the ground and it wasn’t a penalty. It was a good use of VAR to overturn it but overall, the yellow cards for Youan were outrageous. He didn’t deserve a yellow for his first challenge and he certainly didn’t deserve a second yellow meaning he had to be sent off.
"The foul on Starfelt I don’t is a yellow card, there’s no need for a yellow card. In the incident with Carter-Vickers I thought Youan himself was being fouled. You look at where Carter-Vickers’ head is and it’s so low. Youan is going for the ball and it’s just incredibly harsh to give him a second yellow and send him off – and of course, VAR can’t look at second yellows for red cards and from that point on it was defence versus attack and the game was ruined.”