AT its scheduled meeting today at Hampden Park, the Scottish FA’s Referee Committee considered the report from the chief executive, Stewart Regan, into the circumstances surrounding the awarding of a penalty kick to Celtic in the recent Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Dundee United, and the subsequent overturning of that award.
The committee reached a unanimous view that the overturning of the original decision was correct. The match referee, Dougie McDonald, was present at today’s meeting and admitted that after having blown for an infringement he immediately realised that he may have made an error.
As is appropriate in these circumstances, Dougie, unprompted, decided to approach the assistant referee, Steven Craven, who had assumed the required position for the taking of the penalty. Dougie then asked Steven if he had seen the Dundee United goalkeeper, Dusan Pernis, touch the ball first and Steven confirmed that, in his opinion, the goalkeeper had.
Dougie then communicated to the players that he had made a mistake and restarted the game with a drop-ball, as per the Laws of the Game.
In addition, the investigation identified that the post-match administrative process was not completed to the expected standard. The committee agreed with this point and Dougie has accepted his responsibility in this regard. It should also be noted that, while Dougie ultimately arrived at the correct decision during the match, he was marked-down for the error in awarding a penalty in the first instance in the observer’s report.
Stewart Regan, Scottish FA chief executive: “Following Steven Craven’s resignation and the circumstances surrounding the overturning of the penalty decision in the match, it was important to thoroughly investigate the matter. I am satisfied with the outcome of today’s meeting and the clarity of the findings.”
Martin Cryans, Chairman of the Scottish Senior Football Referees’ Association: “The pressure placed on referees has intensified in this country in recent years and the last few weeks have highlighted the immense strain placed on our top officials and their families.
“The aim now for the SSFRA is to work in tandem with Stewart Regan to help develop a respect initiative.”