Brendan Rodgers defends John Beaton and says Celtic ref row is about consistency

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has backed referee John Beaton and said he is not the bogeyman for the Hoops. Rodgers, who is facing an SFA charge for his comments on Beaton’s performance as the VAR official in Celtic’s 2-0 defeat to Hearts last weekend, said he was only calling for more consistency and clarity from the referees.

Rodgers praises Beaton’s experience and integrity

Rodgers said he had no regrets about naming Beaton in his post-match interviews, as he felt the referee made some erroneous and pivotal calls that cost Celtic the game. He said he was not questioning Beaton’s integrity or ability, but rather his judgement on some key incidents.

“I’m not calling John out for his name to be out there. It was more, ‘This is a top referee managing the game and supposedly a top referee in VAR, under no pressure. But they still got it wrong. That’s the bigger worry for me. That it was two of your top referees,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers praised Beaton’s experience and said he had no issue with him refereeing Celtic games in the future. He said he was not suggesting there was any pattern or bias in Beaton’s handling of Celtic matches, and that he was not calling for him to be banned from officiating the Hoops.

“It shouldn’t be the case and I’m not saying that – I’m talking about one game here. I’m talking about the game at the weekend. I’m not talking about legacy issues or any other games,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers criticises VAR decisions that went against Celtic

Rodgers was livid at the decisions that went against Celtic at Tynecastle, where they missed a penalty, had a player sent off and conceded a penalty. He said the VAR system, which was introduced in the Scottish Premiership this season, was supposed to help the referees make the right calls, but instead it added more confusion and controversy.

Rodgers said he was baffled by the decision to send off Yang Hyun-jun for a high boot on Alex Cochrane, which he said was not intentional or dangerous. He said he was equally surprised that Hearts were awarded a penalty for a handball by Tomoki Iwata, which he said was not deliberate or clear.

Brendan Rodgers defends John Beaton

“My point was more that it was someone of that experience who looked at it. John’s been around for a while now – he’s refereed big games. So, I wasn’t calling John out for his name to be out there,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers contrasted the VAR decisions with the one made by Willie Collum in Celtic’s previous game against Motherwell, where he said the referee used his experience and common sense to overturn a red card for a Motherwell player after checking the screen.

“We had a great one with Willie Collum the week before [against Motherwell]. There was a shout for the player to be sent off, ‘Have a look at this Willie,’. He ran over, he looked at the screen and he went, ‘No, no, no – it’s not’. It didn’t look like a sending off in the game but there was obviously a shout for him to have a look at it. But he ran over, he used his experience and said, ‘No, no. I get what you’re saying but it’s not a sending off,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers calls for more communication and transparency from referees

Rodgers said he was not looking for excuses or sympathy, but rather for more communication and transparency from the referees and the authorities. He said he was not the only manager or club who had issues with the VAR system, and that there was a need for more dialogue and feedback to improve the quality and consistency of the refereeing.

“I think there has to be more communication. I think there has to be more clarity. I think there has to be more feedback. I think there has to be more dialogue between the managers, the clubs and the referees,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said he was not afraid of the SFA charge, which could result in a fine or a ban, and that he was only speaking his mind and defending his club and his players. He said he hoped the charge would not affect his relationship with the referees, and that he respected their difficult job and their honesty.

“I’m not worried about it. I’m not concerned about it. I’m only speaking the truth. I’m only speaking what I see. I’m only speaking what everyone else sees. I’m only speaking what the Celtic supporters see. I’m only speaking what the Celtic players feel,” Rodgers said.

By Dayna Bass

Dayna Bass is a talented news writer at our website, delivering compelling and timely stories to our readers. With a passion for journalism and a keen eye for detail, Dayna covers a wide range of topics, ensuring that our audience stays informed about the latest news and developments. Whether it's breaking news, investigative reports, or human interest stories, Dayna's articles are meticulously researched and written with clarity and accuracy.

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