Referee tells Rangers fans the difference between Dessers and Turnbull decisions – Daily Record

Record Sport invited Steve Conroy to compare the two similar incidents which led to different outcomes.
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Rangers fans still seething over the decision to rule out Kemar Roofe’s goal against Celtic at Ibrox before the international break were further angered by a decision that went the way of their rivals at the weekend.
Ibrox punters flooded social media after David Turnbull was awarded a spot kick which saw them open the scoring against Dundee at Parkhead. The former Motherwell man was caught by Dark Blues defender Ryan Howley on the edge of the box and while on-field referee Grant Irvine initially awarded a free-kick, VAR official Steven Kirkland upgraded the award to a penalty.
However, it’s the actual nature of the incident itself which has gone under the microscope. Rangers fans have drawn comparisons between Turnbull’s and Cyriel Dessers and Gustaf Laberbielke at Ibrox. There are similarities but Dessers was the one who was penalised after winning possession from the Swedish stopper before setting up Roofe to score. Having initially allowed the goal to to stand, referee Don Robertson was referred to VAR and then chopped it off. Former top ref Steve Conroy believes that was the wrong decision but also explained to Record Sport how the two incidents differ, as he insists there’s no doubt over Turnbull’s penalty award. He said: “I’ve been the comments from Rangers fans are asking what the difference is and they are very similar, but not the same.
“I didn’t think Kemar Roofe’s goal should have been disallowed in the Rangers vs Celtic game. I didn’t see a foul and I said that at the time and it shouldn’t have been overturned and VAR shouldn’t have been involved because it was a matter of opinion. But there are no issues with the Celtic penalty award – I think think that was a penalty. I’m in a WhatsApp group chat with a few other ex referees and opinions were divided which again makes it a matter of opinion.
“If you watch it then you will see David Turnbull’s foot was firmly planted between the ball and the Dundee player Ryan Howley so going by the rules it was a penalty. People hate the fact defender’s stand over the ball and push people out the way to let the ball go out for a bye kick because the law says that if the ball is within playing distance of the player then he’s in possession of it. So strictly speaking Turnbull was in possession of that ball. His foot was firmly planted on the ground and the Dundee defender took it upon himself to wallop Turnbull’s foot. It wasn’t the worst foul in the world, but a foul.
“The difference, for me, between that and the Cyriel Dessers incident is that nobody was fixed in position, nobody was in possession of the ball. Both of them were making play and robustly and fairly trying to win the ball, which was there to be won. There was a collision but it’s a contact sport and you’re going to have contact. But it was legit although VAR getting involved in the Old Firm game was what really irked me because it’s there to correct a clear and obvious error – not to impose their opinion on the perfectly legitimate opinion of the referee’s.”


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