Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has called for reform of the Scottish FA’s disciplinary system – saying “re-refereeing” games does not work.
The Ibrox club is unhappy that Kemar Roofe is to serve a ban for a high challenge on Murray Davidson that only brought a yellow card during the game, but was later ruled to be a red card offence at a disciplinary tribunal.
Match referee David Munro told the SFA’s disicplinary department that he hadn’t seen the full extent of the challenge, and three former top level referees were unanimous that a red card offence had been missed.
Roofe’s ban comes at a time when fellow Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos is serving a suspension for stamping – which was the result of a notice of complaint from the governing body that the club accepted.
Gerrard believes the referee’s decision on the field should be final, with only off the ball incidents being dealt with retrospectively.
He said: “I think my view is shared by a lot of managers, a lot of players, a lot of supporters and people in the media that the compliance and SFA way that they go about certain things that happen on the pitch – it does need guidance and support.
“My opinion won’t change. Whether that happens in the short, medium or long term we’ll have to wait and see.”
The Ibrox boss revealed the argument that the club made at the disciplinary hearing and said that it was wrong that incidents are revisited when they have been dealt with at the time.
“We appealed the Kemar situation because one, we felt that the game is getting refereed up here and we feel it is disrespectful to the officials and their performance on the night, when they are seeing incidents live,” he said.
“And two, we didn’t think there was any malice or intent in the challenge, though at the same time we understand it didn’t look great when you slow it down or show people it 40 times.
“The decision has been made and we’re disappointed because we miss another striker for two games at such a crucial important time and that’s not great. But we have a squad that’s good enough and there’s opportunities for other people to come into the team and try and make up for Kemar’s loss.”
He added: “In the report that we got, there’s certain language about how the incident wasn’t seen, or wasn’t seen clearly. But there was a yellow card given. The referee was about five yards away and there was a yellow card given.
“You can’t then, hours or days after a game, change your mind or ask someone else or three guys to come and re-referee the game.
“What’s the point of us having referees? Why don’t we just have no referees and we’ll make all the decisions hours or days after the game and go from there?
“It’s not right. It doesn’t happen anywhere else.”
The former Liverpool and England star said that referees had to be given more support, and that mistakes would be made. He believes asking officials to be fully dedicated to the job would lead to improvement.
He said: “Full-time refereeing is one area, 100%, where the situation would get better up here. I think the guys do a terrific job considering that they are part-time and they have other jobs. The level has certainly gotten better year in, year out, since I got here.
“But if we can give them support financially to become full-time, if we can introduce full-time technology, if we can let the referees be themselves and make the decisions and the big calls, tweak and change the current situation, then it can get better for everyone.”