Well, David Weir is the luckiest man in Scottish football!
I read about Craig Levein’s concerns about the refereeing of the game between Rangers and Dundee United this weekend and thought it all sounded a bit extreme. However, I’ve now watched the highlights and I have to say that official-wise things look pretty shambolic.
David Weir brought Noel Hunt down inside the box to deny a clear goal-scoring opportunity = Penalty! Red card! The referee looks at it and gives nothing even though the highlights and action replays clearly show Weir bring Hunt down. Then Dundee United had the ball in the back of the net (Goal!) following a shot which was obviously deflected off David Weir and yet, the assistant referee gives an offside decision against a Dundee United player who isn’t interfering with play and couldn’t even have reached the ball if he had been.
Later Daniel Cousin uses his head to butt a Dundee United player in an escalating case of handbags at two paces following a tackle. Both players were yellow-carded but clearly Cousin should have been sent-off for confusing Ibrox with a wrestling ring – easy mistake to make some might say 😉 .
Had all of these incidents been dealt with correctly then things could have been very different but there, of course, is the rub. I don’t know if Craig Levein is right to claim a bias in favour of the Old Firm in these situations but I certainly think that the ongoing brouhaha over Rangers’ chance to win 4 trophies and their fixture backlog is preying on minds throughout the footballing sphere and damaging their impartiality.
Saturday’s referee, Mike McCurry has had the decency to come out and admit his mistakes but his apology does not make up for Dundee United missing out on a chance to play in the UEFA Cup next year. Nor does it excuse such poor application of the laws of the game. Obviously the SFA can’t change the outcome of this game but they do need to do something about the standard of refereeing in Scotland – apologies from referees are becoming all to common on the SFA’s Whistleblower site and these are more damaging to the credibility of the Scottish game than the fuss over Rangers’ congested end of season timetable.