By George Overhill

6th Mar, 2022 | 6:10pm

BBC Sportscene pubdits amazed at referee leniency in Rangers v Aberdeen

Vincente Besuijen was “very lucky” to avoid being sent off for a “dangerous challenge” against Rangers, according to Leanne Crichton and James McFadden.

The Aberdeen forward flew into a tackle on Scott Arfield in the second half, who himself surprisingly avoided punishment for a late challenge on Lewis Ferguson shortly before, but only received a booking.

There were a number of contentious decisions in the tight 1-0 victory for the home side, with Dons boss Jim Goodwin unhappy with Kemar Roofe’s winner, blaming referee John Beaton for not penalising Calvin Bassey in the build up.

While the two pundits agreed it would have been extremely soft to give a foul on the Gers defender, they were both amazed that at the official for two earlier decisions.

Speaking on BBC Sportscene last night (Saturday 5 March) Crichton answered the question of whether a red card should have been seen in the game with: “Quite possibly yeah, I think there was a couple of decisions for the referee.

“This one here, Scott Arfield, he catches Lewis Ferguson. It’s a really sore one right down the back of the Achilles.

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“I don’t think he even gets a booking for it which makes it worse.”

On the subsequent Besuijen foul on Arfield, she said: “I think he’s very lucky [not to be sent off]. There’s a real intent, the height, the force.”

McFadden alongside her then added: “He’s not in control of what he’s doing is he?

“I don’t know if there’s a bit of frustration in the build up, the foul on Lewis Ferguson, I think there’s a handball from John Lundstram, Besuijen gets a little bump off Scott Arfield.

“But for me, that’s a dangerous challenge. He knows he’s got a chance to catch Scott Arfield, I think he’s very, very lucky.”


Thankfully the officials managed to get the decision right on the goal or there would be far more outrage over the match.

But these decisions would take some explaining if the referee was ever required to do so.

The Arfield foul on Ferguson is a nailed-on booking, and arguably had it been legislated as such buy Beaton the following challenge on him from the Dandies’ Dutchman would have been avoided.

The entire sequence leading up to it us a complete calamity, and how the man in the middle allowed it all to play out only he will know.

There is a fairly obvious handball from Lundstram which leads the referee to put his whistle to his mouth, but he lets it go before failing to adequately punish the studs-up lunge from Besuijen.

Throughout this passage of play Bassey is lying on the turf with an apparent injury from a clash of heads, which should have negated everything that came after anyway.

James Tavernier has his arms out wide wondering why his stricken teammate is being ignored, and it’s not hard to see why.

VAR is the go-to debate whenever officiating comes into question, and certainly the red card may have been caught by that.

But by the time it gets to the video assistant it is too late to catch some things, and the match officials have got to be doing better themselves.

In other Rangers news, Heart and Hand have hit out at alleged lies as “pure fabrication”.