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SFA chief Gordon Smith denies he is guilty of double standards after refusing to comment on Aiden McGeady ‘dive’

Gordon Smith refuted suggestions of double standards after he failed to comment publicly on Aiden McGeady’s yellow card for simulation.

The Celtic player was sent off on Sunday after collecting a second booking for falling to the ground unchallenged after wrongly anticipating a tackle from Hibernian’s Paul Hanlon.

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Smith, the Scottish FA chief executive, had been vocal in his criticism of Eduardo after the Arsenal striker dived to win a penalty in his side’s Champions League qualifying tie with Celtic at the Emirates last week but was at pains yesterday to explain why he was not in a position to do likewise with McGeady.

Invoking UEFA Article 10, the SFA can review acts of simulation only when they lead to a penalty, a free kick that is scored, or an opponent being unfairly sent off. If the incident is caught by the referee and acted upon, or the simulation does not fall into one of three categories mentioned, then there is no case to answer.

Smith further outlined that, because of the SFA’s existing disciplinary measures, he could not comment directly on incidents in the Scottish game for fear of prejudicing individual cases, but could speak about matters that occur in matches that fall under UEFA’s or FIFA’s jurisdiction as these are matters outwith the remit of the SFA.

In a video message on the SFA website, he outlined his position on the matter and rubbished allegations of hypocrisy. “For people to say I’m keeping quiet for a reason then they have no idea of the situation,” he said. “People automatically think there’s bias involved if you talk about one incident and not another. I mentioned the Eduardo case but didn’t go into great detail, and won’t be going into great detail with things that happen in Scotland either because we deal with disciplinary measures here. For me to talk about events in Scotland could be seen to be prejudicing the cases coming up before a panel.

“A disciplinary committee will look at it and will take into account any instances we’ve spoken about. In the case of Kyle Lafferty, he got a two-game suspension for getting a player sent off. We will continue to look at those cases, plus others that lead to penalties or free kicks that lead to goals.

“If the panel decides there are to be sanctions imposed that is up to them but I won’t be commenting on them. I can talk about other instances elsewhere in the world because we do not deal with them. I’m making it clear that I cannot talk about instances in Scotland.”

Smith also pushed the case for video replays to be made available to settle contentious decisions during matches shown live on television, but believes both UEFA and FIFA are unbending in their opposition to the use of technology to this end.

“I’ve taken this up with UEFA and FIFA but they think this takes away from the referee’s job and undermines him. I don’t agree with that. It could only be done in a live match where you have 
a whole range of cameras.

“But in a live match I believe each technical area should be allowed two challenges per match to allow the referee and his officials to look at it. Then the decision could be cleared up right away. I would be in favour of that but I don’t think there’s any chance of it being taken on.”

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