Keith Hackett cannot believe Celtic winger Ryan Christie was not awarded a penalty in Scotland’s game with Austria last Thursday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Premier League and FIFA referee bemoaned the fact “grappling” is going unpunished in the professional game.

Christie was brought to the ground by Austrian defender Stefan Ilsanker in the second-half but was not awarded a spot-kick despite protests from the Scotland players.

The game ended 2-2 as Scotland dropped vital points as they look to qualify for a first World Cup since 1998.

Asked for his assessment of the incident, Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “That for me is a penalty kick.

“The player’s got his arms around his opponent and he’s impeding his opponent. It’s a poor decision not to award a penalty kick.

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“The referee’s vision is unimpeded, he’s unobstructed. That’s a very poor piece of refereeing.

“His judgement is impaired. That’s a foul. All too often, we’re seeing grappling go unpunished and it’s part of the rules of the game.

“There’s no question that this is a penalty kick decision. It’s poor that the referee who’s in the proximity of play didn’t see it. Scotland have every right to be aggrieved. 

“There’s no VAR which this week which has been a bit of a disaster.”

Celtic midfielder

Speaking after the game, Christie suggested to the Scotsman that the lack of crowd meant the referee was able to wave away the penalty claim.

He added: “I couldn’t believe it and after my booking in the first half I didn’t really feel I could open my mouth again. ”

In other news, Frank McAvennie has been left baffled as Aberdeen plot another reported Celtic approach.