By Keith Hackett

27th Dec, 2021 | 12:04pm

Ex-Fifa referee: Controversial Abada footage from Celtic 'shows why VAR is needed'

Keith Hackett has claimed Celtic should have seen their opening goal in the 3-1 win over St. Johnstone on Sunday (26 December) ruled out for handball.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed VAR would have overruled Leil Abada’s first goal as he appeared to bundle it in with his arm.

Abada‘s initial effort from a Josip Juranovic cross was well saved by Elliot Parrish before he scored from the rebound.

There were also claims of offside when the ball was put into the penalty area by Juranovic.

“As somebody who generally doesn’t want to rule offside, that is a very tight call,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“Let it roll on, I’m not giving offside. I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the forward, which is not in the laws of the game. I’m happy about the offside call.

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“It’s definitely hit his arm though. You cannot score a goal with the hand or arm, even if it’s accidental.

“I think they are very lucky to not have the goal ruled out. This shows why VAR is needed, it is the answer to that type of incident.

“There is no way the referee or assistant are going to rule that out. In fairness to them, there’s no way they’ve got that. It’s only in slow motion that you can tell the ball has hit the arm of the attacking player.

“With VAR that would have been ruled out. There is no VAR, the referee and assistant cannot guess, therefore it’s not ruled.”

In other news, there has been a significant update on Celtic and Rangers’ race to sign a player as a decision is made.