Monday, 17 April 2017

Incompetent or Corrupt? - You Decide

I'm a little tardy in writing this article but the old saying of "better late than never" certainly applies in this case. Unfortunately it also seems to apply to certain officials who are quickly giving us the greatest conundrum in the history of great conundrums. Are Scottish Football Referees incompetent or simply corrupt? Yesterday's game at Dingwall between Ross County and Celtic served up plenty of room for discussion as referee Don Robertson left it late to help County salvage a point and almost scupper Scott Brown's chances of leading his troops out in a Hampden Semi-Final against Sevco.

Remember those old football computer games where if you pressed a sequence of buttons you could take a swan dive anywhere on the pitch? On rare occasions you could time the button press to perfection and go down near a trailing foot, earning your side a free-kick or a penalty. Mostly though it would result in hilarious scenes of the player diving with nowhere near him and being booked for his troubles. Yesterday was one of those hilarious moments. Except the joke was on Celtic.

Currently unbeaten in the league and leading County 2-1, the clock ticked down to 90 minutes when Alex Schalk went down in the box. Celtic's Danish defender Erik Sviachenko was the man judged to have made the foul but it wouldn't take seven replays to confirm that he was nowhere near the cheat when he threw himself to the ground. Referee Don Robertson saw something different and inexplicably pointed to the spot. Celtic players were furious. As bad decision go it's up there with the Cadete offside and Willie Collum's all seeing third eye. Liam Boyce converted the penalty and Celtic were now one slip up away from losing their unbeaten run. Was the decision deliberate? We'll get to that later.

Celtic captain Scott Brown took issue with the penalty and later threw himself into a tackle that any sane person could see was a yellow card. Not Don Robertson though. He sent Brown off, having seemingly been railroaded into it by the protesting County players. Don's decision to do so flies in the face of everything we know about Scottish refs this season. Struggling to stop Celtic has left other teams with no option but to kick Celtic players off the park. Armstrong, Roberts, Tierney and Sinclair have all been victims of tackles that would see you doing porridge if you did them out in the street. None were deemed red cards, in one case there wasn't even a yellow dished out. Are referee's taking the softly softly approach with everyone but Celtic? It certainly seems that way.

Brendan Rodgers was absolutely furious and let Robertson know it at full time. He had every right to be. Diabolical decisions like that even games up and could cost a Celtic side from making history. Indeed it was the red card that convinced me that this particular referee was not incompetent but corrupt. Anyone giving Robertson the benefit of the doubt with the dive would now seriously be considering what role he has played in the SFA's little game of hindering Celtic. Better known as - Operation Stop The Treble.

Brown's red card meant he should have missed the Hampden semi-final against the tribute act. He won't due to the SFA's own rules which won't see an appeal hearing heard until after the game. Celtic's decision to appeal and take advantage of the rule seems to have ruffled a few feathers in the media and irked the ones who are obsessed with the word "obsessed." They should be shutting their mouths! Celtic are only doing what every other team has done when faced with a similar situation in the past. If the SFA can't get their appeals system sorted then why SHOULDN'T clubs take advantage of it? In fact the appeals system seems to be just like every other part of the SFA - not fit for purpose.

Don Robertson probably thought his performance today would get him a few free drinks "doon the ludge" when in actuality all he has achieved is to shine the spotlight on the crap that Celtic have to put up with on a regular basis from Scottish officials. Do I think they are all corrupt? Not for a second. However there are serious questions to be asked over the quality of officiating in Scotland. Willie Collum is a fine example of a referee who is not bias or a cheat but downright awful at his job. There are many more like him. Just as there are many more like Don Robertson who subscribe to the mantra of "Anyone but Celtic"

Get used to it folks because next week will be worse. We are only now learning that Robertson will be an assistant behind the goal for the Hampden Semi-Final. Celtic are playing Sevco and in the eyes of the media it represents the last chance to stop the hoops in their march towards the treble. What we witnessed at Dingwall will be nothing compared to what we will see next Sunday. Does any other set of fans need to put up with this constant worry about officials sabotaging their chances of victory? Not a chance in hell! It's about time something was done about the officials. Both incompetent and corrupt!

Incompetent or Corrupt? What's your take on it? Let me know in the comments below.

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1 comment:

  1. Ask grade 2 referees what they are advised to do before they can make it