Rangers ask for VAR audio release after Celtic loss

Rangers have asked the Scottish FA to release VAR audio after being denied what they believe should have been a penalty as they lost 2-1 to Celtic.

As half-time neared, the ball struck Celtic right-back Alistair Johnston’s hand inside the six-yard box.

No penalty was given after a VAR review and footage later showed Rangers’ Abdallah Sima off-side in the lead up.

“The club is keen to understand the process that led to that decision being made,” a Rangers statement said.

“It was not made public at the time, nor communicated to our team.

“Rangers remain advocates of VAR, but there must be significantly more transparency for it to be successful in Scotland.”

Pundits on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 Live and Sky TV discussed at half-time why referee Nick Walsh had not been asked to look at the VAR screen.

At the time, Celtic led 1-0 before going on to earn victory against a Rangers side who finished with 10 men.

Rangers manager Philippe Clement also said the incident was his “biggest frustration” on a day when Celtic increased the gap at the top of the Scottish Premiership to eight points over their city rivals, albeit having played two games more.

“If there’s a clear handball, I don’t understand why it’s not a penalty given,” he said. “It’s a clear thing, so I’m curious about it.

“There was no communication towards me. And, if the communication is that Sima is off-side, I’m not a referee, but there should have been a clear signal from VAR for off-side.

“Then everyone knows the decision. There was no communication at that moment. Otherwise, the signal of the referee is not correct. So there’s been a mistake and it’s clear for everyone to see.

“I also make mistakes, but it’s an expensive one today.”