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Page last updated at 23:19 GMT, Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Dougie McDonald's lie 'will hinder referees'

Referee Charlie Richmond
Richmond says he has not been told why he is not refereeing in the top flight

Referee Charlie Richmond thinks the lie told by Dougie McDonald will hinder the relationship between managers and officials in Scotland.

McDonald admitted exaggerating the involvement of his assistant in changing a penalty decision.

"We have been trying to get current referees and current managers to work together," Richmond told BBC Scotland.

"But, if you tell a lie to a fellow professional, it is going to tarnish that relationship."

McDonald was warned about his future conduct after a Scottish Football Association investigation into his decision to overturn his own award of a penalty to Celtic during their 2-1 win over Dundee United at Tannadice.

What we have to do is try to build the bridges if there is a possibility to do that

Referee Charlie Richmond

Assistant referee Steven Craven resigned after initial reports suggested that he had alerted McDonald to his mistake and later accused head of referees Hugh Dallas of being involved in an attempted cover-up.

That has been strenuously denied by McDonald and Dallas, but Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has pressed for more answers and met with the SFA on Wednesday.

"It makes it very, very difficult because every decision is now going to be highlighted in such a vigorous manner," said Richmond.

"So what we have to do is try to build the bridges if there is a possibility to do that."

Richmond, who believes he himself has been demoted for his performance in previous matches, was asked if he thought McDonald could continue as a top-flight referee.

"I do have an opinion, but there is also a referee's committee that will make that decision about what happens to Dougie McDonald," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound special on refereeing.

"I don't think Dougie McDonald's refereeing ability is in doubt here, it is just the way he has conducted himself.

Referee Dougie McDonald
McDonald admitted lying about his reasons for a controversial decision

"As a referee, you are seen there as the man with the laws and the rules and he should conduct himself in this manner.

"As a referee, you have to stay within the lines on and off the field of play and this is what we are questioning with Dougie and therefore the punishment should be according to that, not his refereeing ability."

Richmond himself avoided being drawn on the reasons why he has been officiating in the Scottish Football League rather than the Scottish Premier League.

"I haven't been told anything, not face to face," he added.

"But I have a good idea and I can just gather that, at the current moment, I am refereeing in the football league."

Former grade one match official Stuart Dougal described McDonald's deception as "a small indiscretion" and insisted there should not be an issue in terms of trust.

He also told BBC Radio Scotland that the media furore surrounding the story has led to a widespread feeling of disgruntlement among referees.

"I'm in touch with quite a few of the lads and I think it's fair to say they are scunnered by the whole thing and just want to move on," he said.

"Maybe it's time to put it to bed and concentrate on some of the good things in the game and take the focus away from referees."

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see also
Refs are against Celtic - Hooper
03 Nov 10 |  Celtic
Ref McDonald explains 'lie' role
01 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Dallas slams ref bullying claims
01 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Chick Young's view
01 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Scottish ref 'cover-up' is denied
31 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
SFA chief calls for ref respect
30 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Ref warned after Tannadice probe
29 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Reid calls for calm in ref crisis
29 Oct 10 |  Hamilton
Celtic want Collum clarification
26 Oct 10 |  Celtic
Ex-ref calls for Scots peace deal
26 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Old Firm referee receives threats
26 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
SFA to reveal Tannadice findings
27 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic boss critical of referee
24 Oct 10 |  Celtic

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