Former referee Charlie Richmond believes Willie Collum got Jozo Simunovic’s red card “spot on” in Sunday’s Old Firm clash between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday.
The Hoops defender elbowed Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos leading to Collum showing a straight red just ten minutes into the second-half.
Collum has a reputation for making highly contentious decisions but Richmond believes the whistler – along with assistant Douglas Ross – called the red card decision perfectly.
“Jozo Simunovic’s red card was the big Old Firm talking point from the officials’ point of view,” Richmond said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“And I’ve to say Willie Collum got it spot on when he sent off the Celtic defender for his elbow on Alfredo Morelos.
“When I say Collum got it right we should actually give his assistant Douglas Ross the credit because it was his call.
“One of the things we were taught during training was to consider whether the player used his arm as a weapon or a tool. You have to ask yourself, did he actually throw his arm?
“And because Simunovic caught him in the throat-lower chin area I can see why it was given as a red. Even with the benefit of a replay I’d say it was a red. The fact Simunovic’s arm was bent was a big factor – if he’d gone with a straight arm it might have different.”
Despite going down to ten men, Brendan Rodgers’ side turned the game on its head when they took the lead through Odsonne Edouard and held on for the win.
The result leaves Celtic nine points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand on second-placed Rangers.
The Glasgow giants go head-to-head again once more in the league as well as facing a Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden next month.
Football Insider verdict:
Simunovic’s elbow was a clear red card and there really shouldn’t be any debate over what would be a sending off anywhere in the world. Collum and Ross made the right decision and even Brendan Rodgers acknowledged it was a red card after the game. The officials had a decent enough game, despite both sets of fans being apprehensive pre-match, and got all the big calls right. Collum could’ve maybe let the game flow a little bit more at times but there was no decision that would justifiably have either set of fans up in arms.