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Dermot Gallagher backs Nick Walsh’s decision to red card Hibs’ Ryan Porteous

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian – cinch Premiership – Tynecastle Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher backed Nick Walsh’s decision to red card Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous against Rangers on Sunday.

The Hibs centre-back was sent packing on the half-hour mark of the cinch Premiership encounter at Ibrox after throwing himself into a tackle on Joe Aribo which was later described by Gers boss Steven Gerrard as a potential leg breaker.

Jack Ross’s side were leading through a Kevin Nisbet header at the time but Rangers came back with goals from Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos to win 2-1 and go one point clear of Hearts at the top of the table.

While social media continued to debate the rights and wrongs of referee Walsh’s decision – former Hibs attacker Tam McManus and now pundit said on his Twitter account “I thought possibly a booking at the time but now realise it’s actually not even a foul. Got it wrong.”

Gallagher told Sky Sports Scotland: “When you look at it, he has gone over the top of the ball.

“Luckily he didn’t catch the man as badly as he could have done.

“But you can see where his leg is, straight over the top of the ball. And the speed he went at. Red card.”

Gallagher also backed the idea of VAR being introduced to Scottish football.

The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League will on Friday hold a Premiership summit on the introduction of VAR with World Cup final referee Howard Webb.

Gallagher said: “Anything that improves decision-making on the field has got to be applauded.

“If they feel that that extra layer will give them that parachute of getting decisions right that have been wrong in the past, it’s got to be a good thing.”