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Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Tuesday, 26 October 2010 18:08 UK

Celtic want clarification over Willie Collum decision


Celtic want clarification - Lennon

Celtic have written for clarification of a referee's decision for the second time in two weeks - and manager Neil Lennon defends their right to do so.

Referee Willie Collum has received threatening phone calls as a result of one decision and assistant Steven Craven resigned because of the other.

"I don't want to see them walking away from the game when they've worked hard to get to that position," said Lennon.

"But all we want is the big decisions to be called right."

Craven resigned following the controversy that followed his part in referee Dougie McDonald's decision to overturn the awarding of a penalty kick to Celtic against Dundee United.

Now Celtic have written to the Scottish Football Association seeking clarification over why Collum gave a penalty against Celtic in Sunday's Old Firm match, which Rangers won 3-1.

I'm sorry to hear that the linesman resigned. I don't want to see anybody losing their job.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

"That's a desperate situation," Lennon said of the resulting threats to Collum at his home.

"It's absolutely nothing to do with the game. It's outside influences and I don't want it to come to that.

"Until last weekend, I didn't have a problem with any referee and, all of a sudden, we seem to be the world's worst because we are questioning a couple of controversial decisions that have gone against us.

"But I am not doing anything any other manager wouldn't do, so I think we are blowing this a little bit out of proportion."

Lennon called for the agreement between managers not to comment on refereeing performances made in 2008 to be reinstated, saying: "It'll make life easier for referees, but not for us."

He also thought that referees should have the right to explain their decisions publicly.

"I'm sorry to hear that the linesman resigned and we are still waiting to hear the reasons why," said Lennon.

"I don't want to see anybody losing their job. They do it for the love of the game for a start.

"Every season seems to bring an increasing amount of pressure, not just on referees but on managers and players because of the spotlight they are under.

We all cause ref pressure - Smith

"I think we have a decent relationship with the SFA. But, if you get an incident like last week, very high profile and controversial, we are within our rights to ask questions as to what went wrong and why the decision was changed."

Rangers defender Andy Webster, who did not play on Sunday and watched the game on television, backed Collum's performance despite the controversial decision to award a penalty for a challenge by Daniel Majstorovic on Kirk Broadfoot.

"It's a high-pressure situation, especially in Old Firm games, to be able to handle it and I thought the ref did well," he said.

"It's a difficult job and not one that I would relish.

"Generally, you are never going to win as a referee. It's a difficult job to do and they do it to the best of their ability."

However, Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung, who played in his first Glasgow derby, was surprised at how lenient the referee had been.

"The Old Firm match is very different to any match in South Korea," he said.

"Referees there give yellow and red cards easily. Here, there are many bad things in the game and the referee just talks. I don't understand it."

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see also
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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