With the SFA currently in talks with the union that represents the referees, hope that a strike can be averted but ave set a deadline of tomorrow before implementing their contingency plan which will see foreign refs being bussed in from other countries.
“We are hopeful that, if we can resolve the current issues that the referees have, then our own referees will be taking to the field,” said Stewart Regan, the SFA’s chief executive. “If not, then we will be preparing a contingency plan to implement by Thursday of this week.”
Regan also moved to put as much distance between himself and the proposol that referees should declare their allegiances, which had received backing from Celtic chairman, Dr John Reid.
“Comments like that aren’t particularly helpful,” Regan added. “It’s very difficult to justify why you would ask somebody to do that. We are hopeful that talks will be fruitful this week and they can officiate at matches at the weekend. We are hopeful that we can come to a satisfactory conclusion. It [the strike]appears to be about making a stand and withdrawing labour for the weekend but we are hopeful that, if we can give them assurances about support going forward, we can get them to rescind that decision.”
Celtic have been involved in an ongoing battle with the SFA that has stretched over two seasons, but has pointed to wider factors that he claims are to blame.
“Clearly there are sectarian issues at play,” Regan said. “I think that’s something that has been around for a long time and its naive to think that can be removed overnight. There are a lot of efforts by many people to change the culture. This is a cultural issue, it’s deep-rooted and will take time to change.”
We have contacted the SFA to see what Regan means by sectarian issues at play. If or when we receive a reply from the SFA on Regan’s comments then we shall publish them and in full.
What is sectarian about the current refereeing fiasco? I thought it was about the failure of our referees in their decision-making not about their religion? Are people now calling for the referees to divulge their religion? In fact the incident with Willie Collum in the Old Firm highlights Regan’s ludicrous comment. Collum works in a Roman Catholic school as a teacher and yet he awarded a dubious penalty to Rangers. If it was a sectarian issue then Collum would have awarded a penalty to Celtic would he not?
Up to this point Regan sounded professional over the whole issue and many people who I have talked too thought so also. But to now claim that the refereeing issue is to do with sectarian issues is ludicrous, and sounds like someone has been whispering in his ear.
Source: UTV Sport