Michael Stewart claims Hibernian should have been awarded a penalty in their 1-0 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox on Boxing Day.
Ianis Hagi scored the only goal of the game in the Scottish Premiership showdown but the Romania international was at the centre of controversy in the second half, according to BBC Sportscene.
The Boxing Day highlights show pulled up a few potential penalty incidents and Hagi’s high-boot on Joe Newell should have been a spot-kick in the eyes of Stewart.
However, Neil McCann claims although it was dangerous, he doesn’t believe it was a penalty as there was no actual contact.
“This is a dangerous one,” McCann said on Sportscene, as shown on iPlayer. “The only reason he doesn’t give it – and I don’t believe it was a penalty because there’s no contact – is because it’s a reckless challenge.
“It’s a crazy challenge to make.”
Stewart said: “This is a penalty. It’s dangerous. That’s a penalty kick all day long.”
The ex-Hibs midfielder added: “The kick from Ianis Hagi on Joe Newell, that is a penalty kick all day long.”
We were lucky
It’s an over-used cliche, bu you see them given.
If it was outside of the box, the referee would have blown for a foul by Hagi. The Romania international’s foot was high and as both McCann and Stewart said, it was “dangerous”.
Newell stuck his head in there hoping for contact which is why he went down as though he had been caught. But that’s not dissimilar to a player sticking their leg out to get caught by a tackle in the penalty area.
If there’s contact, it’s definitely a foul. But there doesn’t have to be contact for a referee to whistle up. If it was dangerous play, then there’s cause for a booking or sending off so in our opinion, Hibs should have been awarded a penalty for that incident.
We really don’t want to agree with Stewart but in this case he’s right.
And we don’t want to get caught up in whataboutery either. On the sole basis of that incident, we were lucky Hibs didn’t get a penalty.
In other Rangers news, Hagi has spoken out about his failed knee slide and whether he was injured by it.