Aberdeen have criticised the Scottish FA for failing to take action to overturn Funso Ojo’s red card against Dundee United, saying the governing body had the power to “right a wrong” but was doing nothing.
Ojo received a second yellow card in the match after an incident where he was pushed by a United fan after his momentum carried him off the pitch and to the edge of the stand.
Aberdeen say that the booking was a mistake, having come from a miscommunication between the referee and his assistant that led the match official to believe Ojo had pushed the spectator and not the other way around.
The Pittodrie club also state that even if that were the case, a straight red card would have bene the punishment and not a yellow.
The Scottish FA rules allow for straight red cards to be appealed in all circumstances, but yellow cards can only be overturned in the case of mistaken identity or simulation.
Aberdeen accused the governing body of “failing to show any flexibility”, with director of football Steven Gunn saying: “As we understand it, the referee and the SFA’s head of refereeing operations, immediately after seeing replays of the footage, recognised that the referee had been mistakenly advised by his assistant referee that it was Funso that had pushed a spectator rather than the other way around.
“As a result, Funso was given a second caution. Pushing a spectator is, in fact, a sending-off offence which would have given us a right of appeal.
“We don’t doubt that, had the referee been aware of the correct facts, he would have taken every step to protect Funso given the circumstances. The club fully recognises that mistakes happen.
“We are dismayed that the Scottish FA, despite their sympathy with the club and the player, have not taken a common sense approach, that in this case would have been unlikely to be disputed by anyone in football. They have instead chosen to stick rigidly to the rules which prevent any meaningful discussion to remedy this when we believe it would have been within their discretionary powers to do so.”
The club held talks with the Scottish FA earlier in the week and believe that steps could have been taken to allow an “emergency rule amendment” to either create a new rule to allow appeals for cautions that lead to sendings-off, or to amend the existing rule on mistaken identity.
The Scottish FA have been contacted for comment.
On Friday, thew governing body issued Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass with a notice of complaint for misconduct during the match. Glass now faces a one match ban.