Michael Stewart slams Hearts vs Celtic officials as VAR red card decision labelled ‘utter garbage’ by furious pundit
Referee Nick Walsh was advised to take a second look at the incident after initially booking Cochrane for his foul on Maeda.
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Michael Stewart has slammed Hearts vs Celtic referee Nick Walsh for his decision to send off Alex Cochrane for a challenge on Daizen Maeda - branding the call ‘utter garbage’.
The Jambos were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half-time when defender Cochrane clipped the Japanese winger, with Kye Rowles close by as he raced back to cover. Walsh initially flashed the yellow card before VAR official Willie Collum checked for a potential denial of a goal scoring opportunity.
A review of the incident saw the official advised to cancel his initial on-field decision and upgrade it to a red card as home supporters were left outraged by the dramatic turn of events.
Former Hearts midfielder and pundit Stewart was also left incensed live on air as he labelled the call “utter garbage” as Cochrane received his marching orders.
He told BBC Sportsound: “There’s no malice...did you see any Celtic players complaining? No. Garbage, utter garbage. What an absolute shambles. By the way, see how Nick Walsh strolls back on to the park, it’s so dramatic. Like it’s part of a show.
“Not a single player was disputing the original decision. This isn’t solely on Willie Collum, although he shouldn’t have got involved. Nick Walsh has watched it again and he has the ability to stick with his original decision.
“It’s good play from Maeda, he cuts across the defender, there’s nothing Cochrane can do. For me, he hasn’t pulled him down and there’s plenty of defenders there.”