Alistair Johnston handball: Rangers say no offside mentioned by VAR in Old Firm penalty check controversy | Football News

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Rangers claim VAR audio surrounding their penalty call in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Celtic contains no mention of offside, following their meeting with the SFA on Wednesday.

In a statement, Rangers confirmed they had met with the SFA in response to their request to release audio surrounding a potential handball against Celtic's Alistair Johnston, which was reviewed by VAR Willie Collum at the time – but not provided.

In the second half, striker Abdallah Sima's offside position was highlighted, but Rangers claim they have now listened to the conversation between the on-field referee and Nick Walsh and Collum – and that it did not was not a factor in their discussions at that time.

Rangers said that after their meeting there was an “overwhelming consensus” that the original handball decision was incorrect, and also criticized the “haste” with which it was made.

Sky Sports News has contacted the SFA for comment, but it is understood they strongly dispute Rangers' version of events at the meeting.

The club met with the SFA four days after first criticizing the country's governing body for failing to release VAR audio.

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Ref Watch's Dermot Gallagher has his say on the decision to deny Rangers a penalty in Saturday's Old Firm match

A Rangers spokesperson said Sky Sports News: “Rangers FC met with Scottish FA officials today to discuss the VAR handball call and subsequent communication issues during Saturday's Old Firm match.

“Since the meeting there has been general consensus that the VAR decision not to handball was incorrect.

“Having listened to the audio, there is no mention of a potential offside at the time of the handball decision. Rangers are also deeply concerned by the haste with which the erroneous handball ban call was launched.

“Rangers have asked the Scottish FA to release the audio and explain to the public this decision, as well as future contentious decisions involving all clubs, as would be standard practice in England for such a decision.

“The club have made a number of specific requests which they hope the Scottish FA will respond to in order to improve things in the future.”

Clement criticizes 'very strange' decisions in Old Firm game

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Rangers manager Philippe Clément says he is happy with his team's performance despite the defeat to Celtic, but questions a number of officials' decisions.

Speaking straight after Saturday's defeat, Rangers boss Philippe Clement insisted the club should have been awarded the penalty and he described some decisions made by Walsh and the refereeing team as “very strange.”

Clement also had issues with Celtic's Paulo Bernardo not being sent off for a late tackle on Conor Goldson when he was already on a booking, with defender Johnston also avoiding a second yellow card despite making contact with Sima's face.

These two decisions were even more important as Leon Balogun was subsequently sent off for a professional foul on Daizen Maeda.

“We played 15 minutes with 10 players, and it was the right decision, it's a red card. We didn't do that well,” Clément said. Aerial sports.

“But I also have other questions: why not a handball in the first half to get a penalty? It's a clear handball.

“Why not a second yellow card for a few tackles and then at the end of the match a lot of yellow cards? Some strange decisions that way.”

When Clement was informed by Aerial sports According to journalist Luke Shanley, there had been an offside decision in the build-up to the handball incident at Johnston, with the Rangers manager responding: “The decision has not been made regarding offside, the decision not to penalize was taken regarding handball.

“That was the decision. So it was a strange decision for me.”

He later added: “We were unlucky with the two (Celtic) goals and if we get that penalty it will be 2-2 with the quality of the game. It's another story of perception .”

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