By Keith Hackett

11th Feb, 2022 | 5:00pm

'Oh, my word' - Ex-Fifa official issues verdict on Jota 'controversy' in Celtic win over Aberdeen

A potential offside in the build-up to Jota’s second goal for Celtic against Aberdeen is “too close to call”.

That’s according to ex-FIFA and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the contentious decision.

Liel Abada, who appeared marginally offside in replays, prevented Dons defender David Bates from challenging Jota who lashed home the winner in Celtic 3-2 win on Wednesday (9 February). 

Hackett insists the decision is too close to call and also claimed the introduction of VAR to the Premiership may fail to clear up decisions like this.

“From an assistant referee’s point of view, it’s too close to call,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild while analysing the footage

“Oh my word, that’s tight. The way we used to operate without VAR, is that the benefit of the doubt goes to the attack rather than the defender.

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“This is where the controversy on VAR is but I can’t say I would have given a different decision if I was in charge of that game.

“So bringing VAR into Scotland won’t solve these problems sometimes.

“The one thing they have to do in Scotland is be really good at training these referees.

“I also believe there should be a panel of VAR referees to build up consistency.

“I also think VAR should travel with the match officials and be at the ground but training and education has to be better if it’s brought into Scotland.

“We have had it in England for three years and I have seen no improvement.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has issued a ‘gigantic’ Celtic and Rangers verdict as a £25million-a-year deal is analysed.