The discussion surrounding Celtic’s recent conceded goal against St Johnstone has focused primarily on the physicality aspect, echoing Brendan Rodgers’ sentiment that Celtic players need to exhibit more strength in similar situations. This is especially pertinent given a similar goal concession against Motherwell in their previous SPFL title match.
However, there’s another dimension to this scenario that involves the role of VAR. During the buildup to St Johnstone’s goal, there was an apparent handball incident just before the ball crossed the line. This wasn’t initially highlighted in the commentary, possibly due to the number of players involved in the play. But the job of VAR is to scrutinize such infractions and ensure the legitimacy of goals.
Surprisingly, the VAR check for this particular goal was brief, with no indication from the VAR team that they were examining any specific element of the play. Generally, while all goals are reviewed, if there’s a specific issue under scrutiny, the VAR team communicates this to the on-field referee, and broadcasters like Sky Sports are also informed. In this case, there was no such communication, and the potential handball wasn’t thoroughly examined.
This oversight raises questions about the effectiveness and application of VAR in such crucial moments. In modern football, goals are typically disallowed if a handball is involved in controlling the ball leading to the goal. The lack of attention to this potential infraction in the Celtic vs. St Johnstone game, therefore, seems unusual and has left many wondering why such a critical incident was seemingly overlooked.
Have a look for yourself.
— Lint (@Zeshankenzo) December 3, 2023