Willie Collum RIGHT to deny Hibs Ibrox penalty against Rangers says ex-EPL referee

Former English Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has ruled on the controversial moment in Rangers’ 1-0 win over Hibs at Ibrox.

Hibernian's Joe Newell and Rangers' Connor Goldson during the Scottish Premiership match. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Hibernian's Joe Newell and Rangers' Connor Goldson during the Scottish Premiership match. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Hibees’ midfielder Joe Newell demanded a penalty from referee Willie Collum in the second half of Saturday’s Boxing Day meeting, which ended 1-0 to Rangers thanks to Ianis Hagi’s first-half strike.

However it was the Romanian’s challenge on Newell which came into focus post-match, with the midfielder feeling he should have been awarded a penalty for a high challenge – but former whistler Gallagher says Collum got the decision RIGHT.

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Speaking in Sky Sports' ref watch he said: "The problem is for it to be a penalty, he has to make physical contact. I don't think he does. I think his boot is high but he doesn't actually catch the player.”

Rangers' Ianis Hagi (R) challenges Hibernian's Joe Newell in the box during the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hibernian at Ibrox Stadium on December 26, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

It has also been suggested Jack Ross’ side should have been given an indirect free-kick at the incident – but the Easter Road boss thought it was ‘a stonewaller’ as a spot-kick, and so did ex-Hibs midfielder Michael Stewart. Speaking on BBC Sportscene he said the tackle was “a penalty all day long”.

But Gallagher added: “I don't think physical contact is made with the player so the referee cannot give a penalty.”

Newell reckoned it would have been a foul elsewhere on the pitch but was told the referee’s reasoning at the time.

The midfielder said: “He said I had ducked down. Referees have a tough job, but if it is on the halfway line, he probably gives it.”

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