Brendan Rodgers didn't miss them. Don Robertson and John Beaton that is. Nor should he have.

There were three big flashpoints during Celtic's 2-0 defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle. Amazingly, all were called wrong. Celtic's penalty award, Yang Hyun-Jun's sending off AND Hearts' penalty decision.

You really do have to go some to mess up all three major incidents in a match but somehow the men in black managed it in Edinburgh. 

For the record, Robertson was the referee on the day, but it was VAR operative Beaton who chose to get involved in each of them. It's a small wonder outsiders look upon Scottish football as a joke. Someone had best tell the refereeing duo that The Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place in August every year, not March.

The standard of officiating is quite frankly, awful for every club in the Premiership. Yet in the crazy world of Scottish football, neither Robertson nor Beaton is likely to face any sanction for another woefully inept display of officiating. Why is that? Both men really should be demoted down the levels for a cooling-off period before being awarded another top-flight game.

Two game-changing decisions went against Rodgers and his title-chasing team at Tynecastle. They had a serious effect on the outcome of the result.

READ MORE: Celtic's Rodgers says re-refereeing was to blame for defeat

First things first let me say that Celtic's penalty when Yang went down under Alex Cochrane's challenge was dubious. For yours truly it was not a penalty. Justice seemed to be served when Zander Clark saved Adam Idah's weak effort from 12 yards after 13 minutes.

What transpired three minutes later only Robertson and Beaton can fully answer. Robertson sent Yang off after being asked to go the monitor to review a high boot incident by Beaton which the official had already deemed was worthy of a yellow card. The whistler duly checked the screen and rescinded the yellow and upgraded it to a red.

Serious foul play? Yang now faces a three-game ban unless Celtic can successfully appeal the card. Yang's boot was high. Of that, there is no doubt, but there was no malice or intent and his eyes were firmly focused on the ball at all times. Reckless?  Yes. Endangering an opponent with minimal contact? It was subjective at best.

Why did VAR man Beaton then feel the need to get involved? Was it really 'clear and obvious'? The referee saw it in real-time and deemed a booking was sufficient punishment. It was. Not good enough according to Beaton. If that piece of officiating was a mess then that was nothing compared to the penalty award given against Tomoki Iwata after 43 minutes. Now that is an absolute shocker.

Iwata was penalised for handball after he was nudged by teammate Alistair Johnston as they both contested a high ball. The ball struck Iwata's arm as a consequence of the push by Johnston. Again, Roberston saw the action in real-time and deemed nothing untoward had happened until Beaton put the seed of doubt in his head and asked him to review the incident on the monitor.

Celtic Way:

Now, IFAB rules state:

  • It is an offence if a player: deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, for example moving the hand/arm towards the ball touches the ball with their hand/arm when it has made their body unnaturally bigger.
  • A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of the hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player's body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and penalised.

Iwata's arm is only in that position as a natural consequence of being shoved by Johnston. Therefore it is not a penalty. Tell that to Beaton. Are we now entering the realms of biomechanics and assuming/guessing where a player's hands/arms should/might/could be as a consequence of an action? It is absurd.

That's twice Robertson failed to have the courage of his own convictions to stand by his on-field decisions that he had witnessed with his own eyes. So the bigger question here is who really was refereeing at Tynecastle today? Robertson or Beaton?

In his two spells at the Celtic helm, Rodgers has rarely brought up the subject of refereeing. He's never had to. The Northern Irishman was livid. He was also perfectly lucid. Beaton and Robertson got it with both barrels. The 51-year-old said: "My feeling is the game was decided by the officials. On the field and outside of the field. You guys know me well enough and I have been around long enough to know that I don't really comment on officials. I know that they make mistakes and whatever else but today that felt like really poor officiating.

"I think the first one - the sending off - there is no force but if you show a still image of that then, of course, it looks like a high boot with the head near it. It is not the reality of the move. If you watch the move again Don (Robertson), actually got it right on the field, it was a high boot, okay, so it's a yellow card. There is no malice or force and then for John Beaton to look at that on VAR supposedly under no pressure and to say that was a sending-off, I find that incredible.

"The second one is worse. To have a penalty go against you for that then there would be penalties every single weekend and midweek. I don't know what Tommo (Tomoki Iwata) is supposed to do. He is jumping and he's got a nudge and he's coming down and the ball goes onto his arm. There is no intention to move it or anything and you get the penalty against you.

"Again they get the chance to look at it and see it, so to give those two decisions left us with an uphill task in the game. Credit to my players because they fought and kept going and their goalkeeper has made a few good saves which could have changed the momentum of the game. It was a poor day for the officials."

READ MORE: Celtic player ratings as Rodgers' side lose at Tynecastle

Rodgers' main gripe is the re-refereeing of incidents outside of the pitch after the whistler has made an initial decision. VAR was brought in to supposedly aid the confusion over clear and obvious mistakes that the men in black may have missed.

He said: "I spoke to him (Don Robertson) in the tunnel just briefly, but it’s a waste of time if I’m honest. There is no change and I also think as well that VAR is not the problem here. That’s clear. It’s competence.

"I think the first one is a great example of the game being refereed outside of the pitch. This is the thing everyone is talking about, that the officials do their job and if it’s something that’s clear and obvious then maybe step in. The referee made the decision and someone outside made another decision to say it was a sending-off. So that’s the game being refereed outside of the field and in big games that costs you."Celtic Way:

Rodgers has every right to complain about Robertson and Beaton's incompetence at Tynecastle. Such decisions could effectively cost his side the title and access to a £60 million jackpot come May. As for VAR, the clue is allegedly in the name. Video Assistant Referees. Yet Celtic appeared to be done over by a different type of VAR altogether in the capital against Hearts.

For Video Assistant Referees, read Video Alternative Referees. Robertson may well have been the referee that was named on the official team sheet at Tynecastle for Hearts versus Celtic. On the evidence of this game alone, it was VAR man Beaton not Robertson who made all the big calls.

That's why Rodgers was perfectly within his right to call out their staggering ineptitude and incompetence.