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11th Jun 2017

Referee didn’t see Joe Hart’s blatant breach of rules and nobody can understand how

This was pretty obvious for all watching at home

Darragh Murphy

England’s World Cup Qualifier against Scotland on Saturday evening took a while to get going.

It wasn’t until the 70th minute that the deadlock was broken, via Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and a breathless finish will go down in history as three goals between the 87th minute and the full-time whistle resulted in a share of the spoils in a dramatic 2-2 clash at Hampden.

The first-half saw very little in the way of excitement, with the biggest talking point one that boiled down to a bizarre error from referee Paolo Tagliavento.

Midway through the opening 45, England midfielder Jake Livermore decided to go all the way back to his goalkeeper to set up an attack.

It couldn’t have been clearer that the pass left the right foot of Livermore, with a Scotland player nowhere near the ball at the time.

But as the ball rolled into the box, Joe Hart casually flicked it up into his hands which was a clear breach of the back pass rule.

Hart then just guided the ball the the feet of defender Gary Cahill and England continued playing.

Law 12 of the Laws of the Game of association football clearly states that an indirect free kick must be awarded if a goalkeeper “touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a teammate.”

That pretty much sums up Livermore’s pass to Hart but the referee simply allowed play to continue while, bizarrely, Scotland’s players failed to put up much of an argument.

Maybe nobody at Hampden noticed.

Maybe nobody Hampden cared.

Maybe a free kick had been awarded to England in the build-up, off camera.

But, if that’s the case, then surely a back pass shouldn’t have been permitted in any advantage being played and the free kick should been taken from where the foul took place.

It left this crowd utterly baffled.