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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 16:37 UK

Levein fined for referee outburst

Mike McCurry and Craig Levein
Levein was incensed by some of McCurry's decisions during the match at Ibrox

Dundee United manager Craig Levein has been fined £5000 for his public criticism of referee Mike McCurry.

Levein said McCurry had "bottled" major decisions following United's 3-1 defeat against Rangers at Ibrox on 10 May.

He was angry at not being awarded a penalty and seeing a 'goal' ruled offside after a long-range shot had deflected in off a defender.

McCurry subsequently admitted he had made mistakes in both incidents in his report on the Scottish FA's website.

Levein is yet to decide if he will appeal against the punishment but was not in apologetic mood.

"I said what I honestly felt at the time," he said. "It was a poor performance and I'm still angry about it.

"I wasn't going to go in and apologise for anything I said."

However, Levein did give his backing for referees in their quest for a pay rise, saying that he believed referees should be full-time.

United striker Noel Hunt was denied a penalty after being felled by David Weir in the penalty area during the match against Rangers.

And Danny Swanson then had a goal chopped off for offside after his strike deflected off the same Rangers defender into the net.

After the match, Levein spoke to BBC Scotland and voiced his frustration at McCurry's performance, saying the defeat had ended United's hopes of clinching a Uefa Cup place.


"We had a blatant penalty and he bottled it," he said.

"If it's not a level playing field and, if we don't get the decisions, blatant, important decisions then what is the point of turning up?"

"I thought Mike McCurry had the balls to stand up and give these decisions," Levein said.

"We get a perfectly good goal chalked off and a blatant penalty, with not even a decision to make, and it should've been a sending off."

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith hit out at Levein's comments, but United director Derek Robertson later said McCurry's performance reinforced the view that referees are biased towards the Old Firm.

The debate was provoked further when SFA president George Peat described Levein's accusations against McCurry as "criminal" and United responded by saying they would seek legal advice over what they perceived to be prejudicial comments.

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see also
Dundee United lodge ref complaint
20 May 08 |  Dundee Utd
Levein calls for referee overhaul
13 May 08 |  Dundee Utd
McCurry admits to Ibrox mistakes
12 May 08 |  Dundee Utd
Rangers 3-1 Dundee Utd
10 May 08 |  Scottish Premier

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