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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 13:12 UK

Ref Dougal bows out a week early

Scottish referee Stuart Dougal
Dougal has been a grade one referee since 1993

Referee Stuart Dougal has taken charge of his last top-flight match after pulling out of his duties at this weekend's final round of SPL matches.

The experienced whistler was due to work as either referee or fourth official before retiring at the end of the season.

However, he has informed the Scottish FA that he will be unable to officiate because of personal reasons.

Dougal's last two matches have been tinged with controversy.

Dundee United manager Craig Levein made a formal complaint about Dougal to the Scottish Premier League match delegate on Tuesday.

Levein was unhappy at the way the referee acted towards him and his captain Lee Wilkie after the player had been hurt in a challenge by Celtic's Scott McDonald during the 2-1 defeat in Glasgow.

On Saturday, the official sent off Aberdeen's Charlie Mulgrew after Rangers opponent Kyle Lafferty had feigned a head injury as the pair confronted each other.

In the same match, which Rangers won 2-1, Dougal also red-carded Madjid Bougherra after the defender caught Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield with his boot while challenging for the ball.

Both clubs intend to appeal their player's dismissal, while the Scottish Football Association is likely to take action against Northern Ireland international Lafferty for simulation.

Dougal, 46, has been officiating for nearly 24 years and has been on the Fifa referees list since 1996.

However, this season his appearances have been limited to just five SPL matches because of injury.

During his career, he has taken charge of more than 100 international appointments, as well as two Scottish Cup finals, one League Cup final, and he was a fourth official at the 2004 European Championship in Portugal.

see also
Rangers launch Bougherra appeal
18 May 09 |  Scottish Premier
Rangers fine play-acting Lafferty
18 May 09 |  Rangers
Smith upset by red card decisions
16 May 09 |  Rangers
International ban for Mikoliunas
20 Sep 07 |  Internationals