By Keith Hackett

23rd Jan, 2023 | 12:43pm

Ex-Fifa official suggests new 'danger' to Scottish football as Celtic footage analysed

Keith Hackett has claimed VAR official Craig Napier “went hunting” for the decision which handed Celtic an early lead in their 5-0 Scottish Cup win over Greenock Morton on Saturday (21 January).

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed Scottish football is in danger of “sanitising” games with the new technology.

As per footage from BBC Sport Scotland (21 January), Liel Abada’s shot deflected off a Greenock Morton defender before hitting Efe Ambrose’s arm at close range.

Referee Kevin Clancy didn’t award the spot kick, but VAR official Napier sent him to the monitor after taking two minutes and 15 seconds to review the footage.

Aaron Mooy stepped up to dispatch the penalty to set Celtic on course for a 5-0 victory.

Hackett told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “They’ve gone hunting for the decision.

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“The danger with VAR is you sanitise the game to the point where you make decisions that are not true football.

“This is one of them.

“Ultimately, it’s new in Scotland. There’s a massive learning curve, and we have to take that into account.

“The important thing is that they have to review these decisions after the game and learn from their mistakes.”

Celtic and their Glasgow rivals Rangers advanced to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup with their wins.

The Hoops have a nine-point lead atop the Scottish Premiership after 22 games.

In other news, expert issues three-word verdict on Albian Ajeti return amid “big” Celtic claim.