BRENDAN RODGERS was far from impressed by the match officials after Olivier Ntcham was sent off in the 0-0 deadlock with St Mirren in Paisley last night.

The Hoops boss criticised a “poor demonstration of officiating” with the champions puzzled by several decisions by referee Andrew Dallas and his assistants.

Oran Kearney was in charge of the Saints for the first time after taking over from the sacked Alan Stubbs and his new side were handed the advantage when the French midfielder was dismissed in the 37th minute following two yellow cards.

Asked how he felt the officials performed, Rodgers replied: “Not very good, to be honest.

“I never like to focus too much on the referees, but for both teams I didn’t think any of the four officials were very good at all.

“I don’t know if it’s a mark of all the attention that’s around them at the moment. But there were lots of incidents he got wrong, and for St Mirren, as well. The sending-off, for me, is not a second yellow card.

“If you watch it again, the first one is a booking and we take that. But before the second one there is an incident when Olivier makes contact with the ball and wins the ball, but the referee gives a free-kick against us.

“Then when you see it in the corner Olivier is running across to block the ball up the line and the St Mirren player is falling over as he plays it and at the same time Olivier slides, but doesn’t have contact with the player.

“So from that – and it’s in the corner which makes it lively – then the referee falls for it and he gets a second yellow. For me, it wasn’t a second yellow or a sending-off.

“Listen, it’s simple – I don’t think they were good.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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