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CLARKE DEMANDS DEFOE BAN

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KILMARNOCK boss Steve Clarke has demanded the SFA take action against Rangers striker Jermain Defoe.

Earlier this season, the Rugby Park side’s winger Jordan Jones was hit with a two-game ban for diving against Dundee.

The Killie gaffer insists he has no issue with Defoe, but insists compliance officer Clare Whyte has to take action following his player’s retrospective suspension.

Clarke is seeking consistency from referees following a weekend where Steven Gerrard’s side were awarded FOUR penalty-kicks by Andrew Dallas in their 4-0 win over St Mirren at Ibrox – with three following into the controversial category.

TV evidence highlighted that two of the four alleged offences took place outside the box while Defoe went down without appearing to be touched by Paul McGinn. The on-loan veteran striker didn’t claim a spot-kick, but Clarke believes he was still guilty of simulation.

The Ayrshire chief didn’t name Defoe, but was clearly referring to the incident and said: “One of our players was suspended for two games for going to ground too easily earlier in the season.

“There was a media furore. A witch-hunt against the player.

UNDER FIRE…Rangers’ on-loan striker Jermain Defoe. Pic: Geo.

“Nothing on the same scale from Saturday’s game, Rangers versus St Mirren. Nothing.

“Hopefully, the compliance officer will do her job. It doesn’t affect us, I am nor particularly advocating, but I just want consistency.

“So, if our player gets a two-game ban, I look forward to seeing what happens this week.”

St Mirren defender McGinn admitted: “I was bemused by the penalty he (Dallas) gave against me. I spoke to Defoe and he said he wasn’t even asking for it. I then spoke to the ref who asked Defoe if he had dived. And he obviously wasn’t going to say he did.

“There was no contact from me, but I actually don’t think he did dive. He expected I was going to foul him, so when the touch didn’t come he tried to get straight back up. I wasn’t looking for him to get booked, but just wanted the ref to make the right decision. I told him Defoe wasn’t looking for a penalty but he still pointed to the spot.

“Maybe if the referee had asked a different question he would have got a different answer. If he had asked “was it a penalty?” then I don’t think Defoe would have said ‘yes’.

But Rugby Park gaffer Clarke is adamant the SFA have to sort out their ropy refs.

He used the example of Willie Collum booking Celtic winger James Forrest for running into the crowd after scoring against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park before letting his team-mate Timothy Weah away with the same offence 11 minutes later.

Clarke added: “You sit after a weekend where everybody talks about referees, consistency of refereeing.

“One player runs to the crowd to celebrate a goal and gets a yellow card. One player runs to the crowd to celebrate a goal and doesn’t get a yellow card.”

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Editor

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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