Why SFA Have To Do More Than Just Punish Meekings!

Hampden Fireworks

The Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Celtic Scottish Cup semi-final match last Sunday certainly caused fireworks.

Especially the saga involving referee Steven McLean, and his fellow officials, not seeing a clear handball by Thistle’s Josh Meekings on his own goal-line. That offence should have resulted in Meekings seeing a red and Celtic being awarded a penalty, which could have seen them go 2-0 up.

Now three days on and the debacle still rages on and the smoke hasn’t cleared.

The Caley defender has been retrospectively charged and now faces missing the Scottish Cup Final if his ban is upheld after his clubs appeal.

Read Grant Russell’s article on STV Sport on why the Scottish FA had to act on Josh Meekings’ handball plus why they have the power to do so.

As far as I’m concerned, if it’s in the Compliance Officer’s remit to look back and take retrospective action then I have no problem with Meekings being banned. Those are the rules and cannot be changed just because it happened during a semi-final. An argument can be made that by handling the ball Meekings’ denied Celtic there chance of making a final appearance. The fact is that it was a clear handball and that’s wrong. If seen it would have been a red card. Simple.

But my problem is that the SFA can’t stop there and make Josh Meekings the scapegoat due to their flawed officials and rules.

The beaks at Hampden have to accept that the refereeing team, of which there were six of them, all seemed to have missed the incident! That can’t be overlooked (pardon the pun).

Those same officials, in particular the referee and the official behind the goal-line also deserve to be punished for their mistake. Plus they need to be assessed and then it can be determined if they need any sort of retraining.

Any regular readers to this blog know I like to look at what would happen in similar circumstances at my job.

Well as a cameraman, say I am filming and I lose a great shot due to overexposure, my boss would give me a bollocking, some training and possibly take me off the next job or two. Believe me its happened, but I’ve learned from it.

I don’t buy that these officials went out to cheat Celtic. I honestly think that they made a couple of human errors. But they were also huge mistakes and ones that ordinary they shouldn’t be making.

I hate these refereeing assistants behind the goals. They never seem to get involved enough. Ideally they should show strength and let players know that they are there. Yet they don’t and players still push and pull inside the box, keepers still go off their line at penalty kicks and we still get major incidents like the one we saw on Sunday. It really seems like those officials just steal a wage.

Why on earth can’t we get instant TV replays for our big Scottish Cup games like semi-finals and finals. Trial it there and see how we get on. Lets be innovative and progressive and help out the referees!

I am not a huge fan of the well publicised letter from the ‘Hoops’ to those in charge at Hampden but I can certainly understand why they’ve done it.

For me, the SFA has to be more transparent and they need to accept that they are also responsible for what went wrong on Sunday. They need to show that they can learn from the big mistakes and show that the officials will also face punishment for a disappointing performance.

We can’t just allow them to sacrifice Josh Meekings’ final place and then allow them to sweep everything else under the carpet!

One Response to “Why SFA Have To Do More Than Just Punish Meekings!”

  1. Great read

    Totally agree

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