Former English Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes Dundee United defender Ryan Edwards should not be retrospectively punished for a late challenge on Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.
Referee Kevin Clancy has come under heavy fire from Rangers fans for failing to even call a foul for the challenge which saw Morelos stretchered off with a gash above his right knee.
But speaking to the Dundee Evening Telegraph, Gallagher believes Edwards has played the ball first and insists the incident was “accidental”.
As a result, Gallagher believes the Compliance Officer will not choose to review the incident.
“I think they’ll say no,” said Gallagher.
“This tackle will split lots and lots of people because many people think it’s a red card and a lot of people think it’s not.
“I actually don’t because Edwards plays the ball first – he gets the ball first.
“It’s unfortunate he follows through and catches Morelos across the knee.
“What would you would say is without a doubt he gets the ball and because of Morelos coming in towards him he catches him.
“It’s inevitable but I don’t think it’s a red card.
“I judge everything on its merits and what I would say is Ryan Edwards, without doubt, has played the ball first.
“He hasn’t gone in with a raised boot, he’s followed through and it’s a consequence of his tackle.
“I think Morelos goes in to win the ball, he gets there slightly after Edwards and I think it’s inevitable there will be a collision and there is a collision and it is unfortunate but you can’t judge every challenge on a physical outcome, you have to judge it on the tackle is made.
“If someone picks up an injury as a consequence of a challenge it can be accidental and I think this is.”
Gallagher’s comments also come after former Rangers winger Neil McCann described the incident as “nasty” and suggested the powers that be deliver retrospective action.
The RangersTV pundit admitted that he hadn’t seen the incident back but at the time he was convinced it was a red card.
“I haven’t seen it too clearly yet, but my initial reaction right away was ‘That’s a bad one’,” said McCann [12/09/20 RangersTV].
“So when he takes it, it’s Ryan Edwards, he wins the ball. Listen, there’s no question he wins the ball, but I think the nature of the follow-through is really nasty.
“The studs are up, straight leg follow through there. Very like the Joe Shaughnessy St Mirren one, and indeed the referee missed that one also, it was the fourth official that said ‘No, he’s endangering an opponent there’, and that for me is the exact same.
“There could be retrospective punishment there because that’s really, really nasty.”