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Kyle Laughable - Review Panel Hypocrisy
The fact that Kyle Lafferty was given a yellow card instead of a red during the recent derby match at Celtic Park is not a reason for his tackle not to be reviewed by the Review Panel.
Last May Scott McDonald’s tackle on Lee Wilkie of Dundee United, which the referee saw and judged not deserving of any censure, was reviewed by the Review Panel. Why and under what authority?
As McDonald said at the time: “I find it astonishing that the video review panel will be looking at this when the referee was standing only five yards away from it when it happened. I thought these reviews were for incidents that were missed by the referee during the match.
“Stuart Dougal didn’t miss this one. He just didn’t think there was anything in it - and Lee’s reaction suggests he felt the same way. He even asked me for my shirt at the end of the game. Do you think he would have done that if he thought I had tried to seriously injure him?
“We shook hands and swapped shirts and I even had a laugh with him asking him to do us a turn by beating Rangers in the last game of the season!
“It’s only because the tackle has been highlighted on TV and in the papers that the SFA have stepped in. It’s become a big deal because the ref wouldn’t allow Lee to be treated.
“Yes, I must admit, when you look at the pictures in slow motion it doesn’t look good. But in actual speed it was nothing much more than a brush and I certainly did not try to injure big Lee.
“Lee knows I wasn’t trying to hurt him and the ref knew it too. That’s why I don’t understand what this is all about.’’
The ref saw it and his judgement was the tackle was not violent conduct and did not merit a red card.
Somebody at the SFA - prompted by the media no doubt - obviously thought otherwise and asked the Review Panel to look at it, presumably after a word with the ref, even if only out of courtesy.
It was a clear breach by the SFA themselves of the double jeopardy rule that football normally strives to maintain to protect a referees authority.
This being so one can only conclude that the nature of McDonald’s tackle was so serious it was seen by somebody at the SFA (who exactly, and under what process and authority, has still to be clarified) as the kind of violent conduct that merited an appropriate sanction which McDonald had escaped.
There is no reason for not subjecting the Lafferty tackle to the same process. The two cases are exactly the same in principle (ie the “crime” did not get the deserved and appropriate punishment) and the technicality of the yellow card does not excuse a similar process not being applied to Laffferty’s tackle.
It was clearly violent conduct. The ref did not mete out the appropriate punishment so why is the case not being referred to the Review Panel or have the SFA rewritten the rules or invented a new set whilst Celtic wait clarification of what they actually are?
This is not a sour grapes or paranoia issue; it is about the fair application of the same rules and their underlying principles to everyone regardless of whose agenda it suits.
With their silence on TFS and the Review Panel rules the SFA look to be more and more guilty of favouring one club in Scotland over all others. The evidence mounts up with every day of their silence, evasion or obsfucation.