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Last Updated: Monday, 7 February, 2005, 16:34 GMT
SFA investigates Yorkston remarks
SCOTTISH CUP
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill
Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston has been asked by the SFA to explain comments, described as "disgraceful" by Celtic manager Martin O'Neill.

Yorkston, stung by further criticism of Dunfermline's artificial pitch, said Celtic defender Bobo Balde probably caused more injuries than the pitch.

An SFA spokesperson said: "There are a number of issues here so we have written to Mr Yorkston.

"We will await his comments prior to the meeting on 17 February."

Yorkston insisted afterwards that his comments had been light-hearted, but stopped short of apologising.

"It was meant as a joke and everybody who heard the interview would have taken it as a joke," he said.

"Bobo Balde just happened to be passing when I was doing the interview. It could have been any player."

On Monday, Yorkston again stressed that his remarks had been tongue-in-cheek.

Bobo Balde's probably caused more injuries this season than our pitch
John Yorkston
"I spoke to (Celtic director) Eric Riley in the boardroom after the game and have spoken to our manager and their manager," he added.

"I hope that this is cleared up quickly and I will fully co-operate with the SFA."

In the BBC Radio Scotland interview, it was put to Yorkston that O'Neill had been critical of the East End Park pitch again.

He replied: "We've not had any injuries because of the pitch and as far as I'm aware no opposition teams have either," he said before the game.

"In fact Bobo Balde's probably caused more injuries this season than our pitch."

O'Neill, who had decided not to give Craig Bellamy his debut at East End Park for fear of aggravating previous knee injuries on the much-maligned artificial surface. was furious when told of Yorkston's comments.

"For a chairman to say that is in pretty poor taste. He should be hauled up for that," said the Celtic manager.

"Those are disgraceful comments for a chairman to make.

"The surface is poor. It's not just me that's saying it. Alex McLeish and all other visiting managers have said it. You can't play football on it."






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