There was much furore yesterday on Sky Sports over the decision to send off Hearts defender Alex Cochrane after it was deemed that him bringing down Maeda on the edge of the box with Kyogo Furuhashi standing square to him was denying Celtic ‘an obvious goalscoring opportunity’ as stated in the latest version of the IFAB rules.
Andy Walker was incensed at the decision, while studio pundits Stan Petrov and James McFadden also agreeing that it should not have been a red card, perhaps though swayed by Walker’s overreaction on commentary, as McFadden did admit when he saw it first time that he thought it was a red card.
However, the pundits on Clyde Superscoreboard on Sunday, Keevins, Dalziel and Wilson, all believed that it was indeed a sending off offence.
Speaking at the time of the incident, the pundits gave their view:
Keevins: “He’s off.”
Wilson: “I don’t think Rolls is getting back. Maeda was in.”
Dalziel: “He’s in on goal. That’s a goal scoring opportunity. I think he’s got away with one there (when the yellow was given originally) I don’t think there’s any chance the Hearts defender’s catching him.”
Keevins: “How can the people sitting in front of the machinery not see that?”
Wilson: “I think Maeda’s in. The rule is, ‘denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.”
Watching it again on the replay, the pundits were adamant that it was definitely a red card for Cochrane:
Dalziel: “That’s a red. That’s a red.”
Wilson: “I tell you what, Rolls is never getting back there.”
Dalziel: “He’s denying a goal scoring opportunity.'” “That’s a red card, he’s not getting away with that. 100%.”
Even host Gordon Duncan agreed, stating: “By the letter of the law, he (Cochrane) can’t have any complaints.”
And what’s important to note is these pundits are watching it in the studio together without hearing the Sky Sports commentary and being influenced by Andy Walker’s ridiculous overreaction yesterday, which I’m certain seemed to have swayed some of the pundits commentating on the incident yesterday, like Petrov, McFadden and even Chris Sutton who came out and said: “That’s not a red card.”
From what I have seen on social media, Celtic fans are widely in agreement that it was the correct call to overturn it to a red card, because, to put it simply, those is the rules.