Juninho Bacuna should have been sent off in Rangers draw v Hearts - Keith Hackett
We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive Rangers columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…
Keith Hackett has backed the SFA’s move to introduce VAR in Scotland after Juninho Bacuna avoided a red card in Rangers’ 1-1 draw with Hearts at Ibrox on Saturday.
Bacuna and Stephen Kingsley were both booked for a touchline altercation that took place right in front of fourth official Euan Anderson and Hearts manager Robbie Neilson.
Rangers’ summer signing, who was signed for £2million [Scottish Sun], appeared to grab Kingsley by the throat in direct view of both Anderson and Neilson, who was sent to the stands for his protests about the incident.
Former Premier League referee Hackett strongly feels that Bacuna should have been sent off while he’s also disappointed by the fourth official’s lack of support for referee Don Robertson.
Speaking to Ibrox News, Hackett said: “[Kinglsey] is clearly saying [Bacuna] has got his hands across his throat. The Rangers player has got his hand in the throat of his opponent.
“We’re refereeing football and the word ‘foot’ is where we play. That’s a red card offence.
“This is why the move by the Scottish FA to introduce VAR will give a degree of clarity in these situations because the referee’s only got one view.
“In the defence of the referee, I’ve had the opportunity of looking at that two or three times to determine there is a hand in the throat. The referee’s only got one view so I’m not going to be critical of him.
“I’m going to support the initial reaction to the incident, two yellow cards and he’s calmed it down. But now I see why there’s a reaction and that’s because Bacuna’s got his hands on Kingsley’s throat.
“The fourth official is there to assist the referee. He’s got to have seen it.
“I would have liked to have seen the fourth official helping the referee here.
“Red card, you can’t put your hands in the throat of an opponent.”
Bacuna is yet to start in the Premiership for Rangers with Steven Gerrard substituting the former Huddersfield midfielder into the game with 29 minutes left on the clock versus Hearts.
There’s no doubt that the Curacao international grabbed Kingsley around the throat and we can count ourselves lucky that he wasn’t red-carded.
In other Rangers news, Keith Jackson dubbed this Ibrox star a “clown” after what happened against Hearts.