STATEMENT FROM (GORDON SMITH SPEAKING FOR) SFA:-
"In light of recent comment in the media I feel compelled to clarify the
Scottish FA’s disciplinary procedures, in particular relating to
Claims of Wrongful Dismissal.
Let me state clearly that neither myself nor the Scottish FA believes
the current system is without flaw. Nevertheless, it was implemented
after discussions with the wider Scottish football constituency through
the Disciplinary Committee’s Working Party, which consists of
representatives of the Scottish Premier League, Scottish Football
League, Managers' and Coaches' Association, PFA Scotland and the
It should be noted here that while the Celtic chairman, Dr John Reid,
believes the procedure should involve a review panel – “this is
surely the only right and proper process” – with no input from the
match official in charge, this would, in fact, contravene one of
FIFA’s fundamental Laws of the Game, namely The Decision of the
Referee is Final.
Furthermore, for the purposes of transparency, it should be pointed out
that when the Claim for Wrongful Dismissal procedure was amended in
2007, it was approved by the Disciplinary Committee, of which Eric
Riley, Celtic’s financial director, was chairman. He remains part of
the committee as vice-chairman and, thus, would be in an ideal position
to address any concerns raised by his club.
We are mindful of the growing public debate to streamline and harmonise
the current procedures and I can confirm that discussions have already
taken place to expedite certain aspects of the process.
As a point of reference, the argument that referees should not be part
of the review process in a Claim for Wrongful Dismissal because they are
disinclined to admit to mistakes is not borne out by the facts. In fact,
of 13 Claims for Wrongful Dismissal received this season, six have been
upheld and seven dismissed.
Investigations into incidents the referee did not see involves a more
detailed process and this, I believe, is at the root of the popular
misconception over the disparity in arriving at decisions. Again, I will
endeavour to make a case to the Disciplinary Committee in order to
minimise the time between an incident occurring and the investigation
The association is always open to dialogue with its member clubs,
managers, players and the referee fraternity. We are also open to new
ideas. It has become apparent in recent weeks that while there is a
degree of unhappiness - and arguably a greater degree of
misunderstanding - over disciplinary procedures, nobody has volunteered
a viable alternative that would satisfy FIFA’s Laws of the Game.
The Scottish FA is acutely aware that football dominates the national
agenda in an era of instant information and it is my intention as chief
executive to help implement measures that improve the speed and
consistency of decision-making to everyone’s satisfaction."
The English FA system does not
involve the match referee at the appeal stage.
So, according to Smith and the SFA, the English FA are using a system that "would, in fact, contravene one of
FIFA’s fundamental Laws of the Game, namely The Decision of the Referee is Final."
Hiding behind FIFA laws is not good enough, Mr. Smith.