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Why did SFA make late call to draft in John Beaton for Tynecastle VAR role?

John Beaton wasn’t the original choice to referee Sunday’s controversial clash between Hearts and Celtic as the match programme reveals.

Clubs are informed of match officials a fortnight in advance of matches which allows all involved to make arrangement, especially travel and occasionally accommodation needs.

Greg Aitken, a full-time SFA employee was originally scheduled to be on VAR duty for what is one of the most high profile fixtures on the calendar.

After the programme had gone to print the officials were made public, on February 27 the SFA website announced that Beaton would be on VAR duty, assisting Don Robertson in what turned out to be a highly contentious afternoon.

Above, the match programme, below the SFA website announcement.

Yang Hyun-jun will discover this afternoon the outcome of his 15th minute red card following an incident with Alex Cochrane.

From a standing position the winger raised his boot towards the ball as the Hearts defender raced towards him, Robertson awarded Hearts a free-kick and yellow carded Yang.

Beaton then stepped in suggesting a review, the pressure was then on Robertson who upgraded to a red card leaving Celtic with 10 men for 75 minutes.

The VAR influence on the game had only started, four minutes before half-time Beaton picked out the most innocent of handballs, incredibly Robertson agreed with his colleague to award Hearts a penalty with George Grant converting to put the home side in front and on their way to a 2-0 victory.

After the match Brendan Rodgers gave his most outspoken comments as Celtic boss with Beaton the clear target for his anger.

It’s competence. And I think the first one is a great example of the game being refereed outside of the pitch. This is the thing everyone is talking about, that the officials do their job and if it’s something that’s clear and obvious maybe step in.

The referee made the decision and someone outside made another decision to say it was a sending off. So that’s the game being refereed outside of the field and in big games that costs you.

I think it is discussed and I have the delegate wanting to speak to me. Waste of time, waste of energy, because there is no change.  I’m not one who comes crying about referees, be it here or the Premier League, because I understand there will be mistakes made. But that today was awful officiating in what was a big game for us.

Rodgers is expected to be given a disrepute charge by the SFA which should make for a very interesting hearing as he gets an explanation of why Beaton and Robertson correctly awarded a penalty when there is overwhelming evidence of similar incidents being judged differently.

CLICK HERE for SSB caller claims that Lawwell is better than Larsson.

CLICK HERE for Sky Sports interview with Brendan Rodgers.


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