‘Always given as a penalty’ – Ex-referee has say on Hibs penalty and handball claim against Aberdeen

Gallagher said: “He doesn’t mean to do it, he goes to head the ball – no doubt about that but his arm’s outstretched so if that went to VAR in England, that would be always be given as a penalty.”

On the spot-kick that Hibs were given, for Liam Scales’ foul on Ryan Porteous which resulted in a second yellow and a sending-off for the on-loan Celtic defender, Gallagher said the Dons centre-back had taken a ‘massive risk ‘ as he pointed out both players were grappling with each other.

“The argument is, when does push come to shove? But if you look at it, he hauls [Porteous] down. It’s a massive risk to take.

“From the referee’s angle, he sees Scales Haul him down, so the official thinks it’s a yellow-card offense in addition to the penalty.

“The player has already had a yellow card so unfortunately he has to go.”

Asked if VAR would have awarded a free kick for Porteous tugging Scales’ shirt, Gallagher wasn’t so sure.

Ryan Porteous appeals for a penalty after going down under Liam Scales’ challenge

“VAR would award the free kick for the shirt-pull if they decided it was a clear and obvious error by the referee and if it met the threshold,” he explained.

“But VAR can’t get involved in the red card because it’s a second yellow.”

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