By Keith Hackett

16th Nov, 2022 | 11:53am

Ex-Fifa official: Referees may become over-reliant on VAR as controversial Ryan Kent footage emerges from Rangers

Scottish referees may be becoming over-reliant on VAR after Rangers were initially denied a penalty in their 1-1 draw with St Mirren on Saturday (12 November).

That is the view of ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Marcus Fraser’s challenge on Ryan Kent towards the end of the second half.

The Rangers winger was initially shown a yellow card for simulation by referee Kevin Clancy.

He was instructed to review the incident on the pitchside monitor and subsequently overturned his decision and awarded Rangers a spot-kick while chalking off Kent’s yellow card.

James Tavernier converted from the spot but Rangers were not able to find a winner in the final five minutes.

“The difficulty you’ve got when you get really close is you’ve got this problem of not concentrating,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“That’s an easy decision and a referee of his calibre shouldn’t rely on VAR. I just hope that we’re not seeing referees having doubt in their minds about their own decision.

“Normally this referee would have given a penalty kick and now he’s hesitant. He’s looked at the screen and got it right. That’s what you expect with VAR.

“But I want the referee to give the penalty kick. He couldn’t have been better positioned with the distance from ball so I was surprised.”

Kent has come under criticism from Rangers fans this season and he has only found the net once in 22 games across all competitions.

In the Scottish Premiership, the 26-year-old has registered six assists in 13 appearances.

In other news, a medical insider has issued an “alarming” claim after a Kemar Roofe injury twist at Rangers.