The split in opinion over the SFA’s decision not to charge Dundee United’s Ryan Edwards for his tackle on Alfredo Morelos shows the challenges facing referees, according to Ian McCall.
The Tangerines defender was neither red-carded nor even booked by whistler Kevin Clancy over the incident in Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Ibrox.
The United player got his foot to the ball to clear but did catch the Rangers star, who had to go off on a stretcher.
There were calls post-match for Edwards to be punished retrospectively but the SFA fast-track panel of three referees looked at footage of the incident before deciding that match official Clancy’s original decision should stand.
Former Tannadice boss McCall – current Partick Thistle gaffer and BBC Sportsound regular – said: “For me, it’s in between a yellow and a red.
“We can look at it 50 different ways. The most important part of it all is that it just shows how hard a referee’s job is.
“It’s an incredibly difficult decision to get right.
“Any way it went, there would’ve been people saying he’s wrong.”
Scotland legend James McFadden insisted that Edwards – who joined this summer from Blackpool – should have been ordered off.
He said: “As I see it more and more, there’s follow through. He kicks the ball and leaves his leg straight.
“I still think it’s a red card. You can’t tackle like that these days.
“I’m not saying he’s deliberately tried to do Morelos.
“I can understand why the panel didn’t find a resolution on it because there’s different ways of looking at it.
“Does he mean it? I think that’s irrelevant. I think it’s a red card. If he (Clancy) had given a red, I don’t think they’d have looked at it with a view to overturning it.”
Peterhead’s ex-Dundee midfielder Si Ferry compared it to St Mirren defender Joe Shaughnessy’s red-card tackle on Ross County’s Ross Stewart last month.
But he says neither player should have been dismissed.
The Open Goal presenter said: “It was the same with Shaughnessy at St Mirren.
“What do you want your centre-half to do, pull out of a tackle? It’s a 50-50 and I didn’t think his was a red card.
“By the rules, the two are red cards but they’re not red cards.”
Steven Gerrard has revealed Morelos is available for selection as Rangers take on Lincoln Red Imps in the Europa League this week.
The Light Blues manager – who suggested ref Clancy’s decision on Saturday may have been different had the Colombian been the player making the tackle – says the striker is in his thoughts for the Gibraltar clash.
He said: “We will make a decision on the team when we need to. In terms of fitness, Alfredo is with the group and available for selection.”