By Doug Ward

3rd May, 2022 | 5:10pm

Ex-FIFA official amazed by John Beaton as Ally McCoist stunned by Rangers v Celtic stat

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 paid tribute to Scottish referees after no red cards were produced in Rangers versus Celtic games this season.

John Beaton and Bobby Madden have, of course, been at the centre of certain controversies in Old Firm matches this term but there haven’t been any red cards and, in the eyes of Hackett, no major dramas.

Ally McCoist admitted, via Football Scotland, that he was amazed on Sky Sports when told there hadn’t been any players sent off in Old Firms this term.

According to former FIFA and Premier League referee Hackett, that’s down to the players and the referees performing really well.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, you don’t give a red card unless a player misbehaves and breaks the law,” Hackett told Ibrox News.

I think credit has to go to both clubs for the way they’ve adapted.

Rangers and Celtic have maintained the passion but they played within the spirit and the laws of the game. And that’s not easy when there’s no question these games are challenging for the referee and challenging for the players too.

The crowd is just remarkable and the noise must be intense.

I think it’s a great credit to the clubs we’ve not had the massive blow-ups and mass confrontation. But, into that, has to be the quality of refereeing.

What we saw from John Beaton this weekend was allowing the game to breathe and keeping the game going to ensure that frustrations don’t arrive in the players.

All of the referees who’d refereed these games have really produced top-class performances.

There’s been consistency – yes, we can call the odd one here and there – but I like the way they play to the spirit of the game.

They’re being proactive and that’s a great credit to the referees.

I think it’s fantastic for the image of these games that are beamed all over the world.”

In other Rangers news, a BBC Scotland man has blasted this “absolutely dreadful” Gers star on Sportscene.