By Mike Slater

25th Apr, 2022 | 4:10pm

Keith Hackett: VAR would not have intervened on Juhani Ojala tackle for Motherwell v Rangers

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 insisted that VAR would not have intervened after Motherwell defender Juhani Ojala was only booked against Rangers.

The ex-FIFA official admitted a booking was the right decision despite the “reckless” lunge on Scott Wright in the first half.

Rangers went onto win the game 3-1 despite having Leon Balogun sent off minutes before Ojala went flying into his own tackle.

“I think it was reckless,” he exclusively told Ibrox News.

“It was reckless rather than endangering the safety of an opponent, so for me again, the referee’s judgement was accurate on that one.

“There’s always those screams, we have to have confidence in the referee to make that judgement between what is reckless and what is excessive force and this referee again, the one thing Scottish referees are doing is putting in the physical effort to get in good positions.

“I don’t think that even with VAR would have been reviewed.”


Wright certainly had the last laugh after coming off second best in this exchange, scoring twice if we give him the benefit of the doubt on the first one.

The winger was exceptional in a Man of the Match display, but he was certainly endangered in this tackle given the speed of impact.

Of course, there were no complaints with Balogun’s sending off, but all we ask for is more consistency – you can still endanger someone without your studs.

Nick Walsh was solid in his performance and we find it hard that a referee will get every decision right in games, and thankfully, this didn’t affect the result in the end.

It would have been much different had Ojala popped up with a goal while the scores were level, though.

In other Rangers news, One 25-year-old could now be deemed as surplus to requirements at Ibrox this season