Clement 'happy' with Collum being appointed to Rangers cup tie

Rangers had asked that the referee was not involved in their matches.

Philippe Clement has revealed that he is “happy” that referee Willie Collum will officiate the Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox on Saturday, despite Rangers having asked that he is not appointed to their games.

Collum was the VAR official for the Old Firm match against Celtic in December and Rangers were furious that he did not ask referee Nick Walsh to review a potential handball that could have led to a penalty.

In the aftermath, the Ibrox club questioned the decision-making process and asked that Collum not be involved in any more of their matches. The Scottish FA refused to be swayed and Collum will be the man in the middle when Ranegrs take on Ayr United this weekend.

Asked for his views on the appointment, Clement said he had no complaints about the decision.

“I’m happy, to be honest,” he said. “When there’s one moment I think a referee isn’t neutral I would quit my job, so I’m happy we can leave the past behind.”

The Rangers boss made it clear that he had not been consulted by the club before they asked for the referee to be banned from their games, and said that after internal talks he would be part of any similar discussions in future.

Clement still feels the wrong decision was made in December but said there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on it, or by continuing to hold judgement over “a mistake”.

“For me there was a fault made, it was a clear handball but I’m also not without fault,” he said. “I make faults every day, probably.

“I don’t look at people and if they make a mistake they are that for life. No, this is a new game, a new situation.

“It’s important not to live in the past. I think that’s important in life in general.

“I don’t want my players also to be living in the past about the last few weeks or months or the beginning of the season or whatever. It’s about the next game and it’s about performing there.

“And if we make mistakes, like I do and the players do, you expect to get new chances to prove that you’ve become better. I’m in that way into life.”

The Rangers boss was also relaxed about the outcome of the appeal over Dujon Sterling’s red card, where a panel upheld the initial decision to send the player off for a challenge on Aberdeen’s Jack Mackenzie.

“You don’t want to lose players but you need to accept the decision.” he said. “This situation was not so clear.

“We have seen other tackles in other games where it was a yellow card.

“But that’s the thing about football. It is never black and white, there is a grey area and it is a difficult job for a referee in that grey area. I think that is also one of the charms of football.”

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