Former Referee Stuart Dougal has called on SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan to explain the decisions to clear Ally McCoist, and fine Madjid Bougherra and El Hadji Diouf for their part in the Scottish Cup game, and to show support for the whistlers.
McCoist saw his two match touchline ban overturned, while Bougherra and Diouf were fined £2,500 and £5,000 respectively for their part in the ‘shame game.’
In the aftermath of the game, Stewart Regan promised action against all those involved, and condemned the manhandling of the referee by Madjid Bougherra and Diouf’s actions against the orders of Police in attendance.
And Dougal is now urging the SPL to explain the decision that led the trio to get away scot-free.
“Despite what people think, match officials are big boys who have thick skins – they can take a lot,” he said. “But what will concern them is this: Where is the protection for them? Stewart Regan has spoken out, but it doesn’t look as if he’s offering any protection for the officials. The SFA chief executive now really has to come out and tell the referees why this decision has been taken.
“They should at least tell everybody why they haven’t imposed a ban on Bougherra. Referees have only two interests – handling games well and being protected by the authorities. We talk, in refereeing, about a standard of discipline on the field. What standard is the SFA setting here, with this decision? Personally, I can understand why they’ve done this. But I don’t think it sends out the right message.
“It has probably been looked at as a judgement on whether he showed aggression towards the official or whether it was pure frustration. But anybody who has raised their hands to a referee must run a real risk of picking up some sort of punishment, probably a suspension.”
Respected journalist Hugh MacDonald who writes for The Scottish Herald commented on his article today, “The decisions by the disciplinary committee of the SFA yesterday, though, are the high point of the season in terms of absurdity. They are the Monty Python sketch in the comedy that this nation’s football has become. They also fly in the face of the policy to support referees.”
“Whatever one’s view on yesterday’s deliberations, it was not a show of support for Calum Murray. One must wait for the ballot today when the referees, presumably enraged at the leniency of the sentences, take to the picket line. After all, Madjid Bougherra manhandled one of their members as he was about to book him. And then he did it again. Bougherra was fined and told not to do it again. Presumably, the naughty step was being used.”
“Another Rangers player, El-Hadji Diouf, bumped into the Celtic physio, had a slanging match with Lennon, who was banned for his behaviour, then would not leave the field when advised to do so by the referee. He then ignored the intervention of a police officer and threw his jersey into the crowd. He was warned and fined.”
Source: Evening Times