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Disappointing season for SPL referees, says Hugh Dallas

Referee Calum Murray steps into an argument at Fir Park
Scottish referees have come in for a lot of criticism this season

Head of Scottish referees' development Hugh Dallas admits match officials have been underperforming.

The former World Cup referee met with Premier League managers and told them it had been a "disappointing season with some disappointing decisions".

He acknowledged that a spate of high-profile mistakes has created an air of tension among match officials.

Dallas said the meeting was "extremely fruitful" but accepts the frequency of mistakes needs to be addressed.

The most recent uproar came during last Wednesday's game between Motherwell and Rangers when referee Calum Murray, taking advice from assistant John Gilmour, appeared to wrongly rule out a Ross Forbes goal when the home side were leading 1-0.

Gilmour incorrectly flagged for offside against the Motherwell player and Rangers hit back to level the game 1-1.

Dallas not in favour of TV replays for refs

"The meeting with the SPL managers was extremely fruitful," Dallas told the SFA's website.

"The conversations were enlightening, and at times robust, but I have always been in favour of open dialogue with managers face to face or over the phone rather than via the media in the immediate aftermath of a game when passions run high.

"Consistency was again high on the agenda.

"It is what we all strive for but as I explained, the problem with perceived consistency is that it is open to interpretation and opinion.

"If I am being honest, I would say this has been a disappointing season with some disappointing decisions which I wish we didn't have to analyse and talk about.

"We examine these in detail at the Referee Development Department and the first question we always ask is 'Why?'

Promisingly, there was an air of understanding from the meeting and that is why such gatherings are important

Hugh Dallas

"In order to understand the reason behind it we need to hear the reason. Obviously there have been incidents this season I have been uncomfortable with.

"I am not going to sit here and pretend mistakes have not been made but it is how the referees learn from these that is important.

"These mistakes have been honest ones but they are still mistakes and should not be happening."

Dallas added: "In saying that they have to be accepted as part of human nature in the way that players and managers make mistakes.

"Promisingly, there was an air of understanding from the meeting and that is why such gatherings are important, to get the feelings of the clubs prior to our winter training camp.

"The comments and feedback, as well as our own impressions, will form the basis for that camp.

"It is also useful to use that time to reflect on the first part of the season and tighten up in a few areas.

"We have seen this weekend - and in previous weeks - situations that only become clear when broken down and reviewed in slow motion from a variety of television camera angles.

"The referee has only one angle and a split second to make his judgment and this should not be forgotten."



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see also
Boyd elbow deliberate - Zemmama
15 Feb 10 |  Hibernian
Wrong decision cost 'Well - Brown
11 Feb 10 |  Motherwell
Refs' chief fires back at Gannon
11 Dec 09 |  Motherwell
Smith comes to referees' defence
11 Dec 09 |  Rangers
New refs 'no worse' - MacPherson
10 Dec 09 |  St Mirren
Players can cut cautions - Dallas
21 Sep 09 |  Scottish Premier


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