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Thomson and McKendrick fret over impact of Dallas exit

Scottish referee Craig Thomson
Thomson hopes standards will not slip after Dallas's departure

Grade one referee Craig Thomson warns the sacking of Hugh Dallas by the Scottish Football Association means standards of officiating could drop.

Dallas lost his job as head of referee development at the SFA after passing on a controversial email in September about the Pope's visit to Scotland.

"I see him as a world-class individual within Scottish football," said Fifa-listed Thomson.

"There is a lot of work behind the scenes that I'm hoping won't be lost."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan held an internal disciplinary hearing into the affair on Thursday evening after the email, which was sent from Dallas's SFA account, was seen by the BBC and the contents made public.

On Wednesday, a Catholic Church spokesman called on the SFA to take action and asked for confirmation that Dallas would be sacked if he was found to have sent the message in question.

Thomson added of Dallas, a fourth official in the 2002 World Cup final: "The coaching experience he can pass on to referees is immeasurable, particularly to guys involved in European games.

Hopefully the structures are in place to keep the good up the work that Hugh and his predecessors have kicked off

John McKendrick

"For a small footballing country in European terms, we are punching well above our weight in terms of matches and rankings.

"On a day-to-day basis it will be difficult to continue. It's a low day for us, whether we agree with the punishment or not is another issue.

"To have a World Cup finalist in our midst and for some reason to get rid of him is a detriment to referees."

Another whistler to lament Dallas's departure is John McKendrick, who described him as "a world-class operator".

"It's certainly a major blow for Scottish refereeing," McKendrick told BBC Scotland on Saturday evening.

"At the peak of his game, there are very few figures in Scottish football who have been at the level Hugh Dallas was at.

"We were very fortunate, as a group of referees to have somebody of that standard who could direct us.

"We have made a lot of progressive steps, even at the lower level where we have an academy that is pushing forward and developing young officials.

"Hopefully the structures are in place to keep the good up the work that Hugh and his predecessors have kicked off."

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see also
Refs' chief Dallas sacked by SFA
27 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
SPL survives referee withdrawals
27 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Brown critical of striking refs
26 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
Church wants Dallas transparency
24 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
SFA probes Dallas email reports
10 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier

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