Rangers hit out at SFA for 'unacceptable' VAR audio request timescale after Celtic penalty snub

The Ibrox side have continued to voice concerns over a key incident during Saturday's Old Firm clash.
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Rangers have slammed the Scottish Football Association for the "unacceptable" timescale outlined to disclose the VAR audio from Saturday's Old Firm defeat to Celtic.

The Ibrox club are demanding to hear the full conversation between on-field match referee Nick Walsh and VAR operator Willie Collum following the decision not to award their side a penalty and the failure to penalise Hoops defender Alistair Johnston for a handball offence under pressure from Abdallah Sima.

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TV broadcaster Sky Sports confirmed on air that there was an offside call spotted against Sima in the build-up, with a still image presented several minutes after the incident. However, play restarted from Celtic keeper Joe Hart's goal kick instead of a free-kick.


That led disgruntled Gers manager Philippe Clement to explain he was not aware of the reasoning behind the match officials' actions and the club remain unhappy about the circumstances surrounding the penalty claim towards the end of the first-half.

Rangers issued a statement on Saturday evening asking the SFA to release the VAR audio and less than 24 hours later have put out a second statement expressing growing concerns over "the lack of transparency", claiming that the governing body will not meet until Wednesday to discuss their request.

A Rangers spokesperson told the Rangers Review: "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.

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"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."

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