Ex-Fifa referee issues VAR verdict after analysing controversial Abada footage from Celtic
Liel Abada can have little complaint about the penalty he gave away as Celtic beat Aberdeen 2-1, according to Keith Hackett.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee admitted it was “soft” and “seemed harsh” but Abada stuck a leg out and looked guilty in his body language.
The winger was adjudged to have fouled David Bates as the ball broke loose at a corner.
Lewis Ferguson scored from the spot to level the scores before Callum McGregor’s bizarre deflected winner on the hour mark.
Asked for his assessment of the penalty incident after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, Hackett said: “When you stick out a leg you run that risk.
“It does seem harsh on the day but a foul has been committed. The player has stuck a straight leg out.
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“It’s fair to say the Aberdeen player was initiating contact but this is the danger. The referee has one view and one view only and has a decision to make.
“The referee doesn’t look very convinced with his body language.
“Ultimately at the end of the day, it’s a soft penalty kick. But the Celtic player has not helped, he’s put his two arms in the air which says ‘I’ve done something wrong’.
“For me, it’s a penalty kick. It is harsh but that’s the decision he’s facing and he’s in a good position.
“If VAR was involved it would not come in as it is not a clear and obvious error.”
The win for Celtic keeps them just four points behind league leaders Rangers.
They host Hearts on Thursday with Rangers travelling to Hibs the day before.