Michael Stewart has insisted John Guidetti was guilty of a dive to win the controversial penalty he feels was the decisive moment in Hearts' Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic on Sunday.


The former Hearts captain was in no doubt the Celtic striker 'threw himself to the ground' in search of the spot-kick that referee Willie Collum subsequently gave in error.

Whilst some observers feel the Sweden internationalist slipped on the greasy Tynecastle turf, Stewart believes the on-loan Manchester City layer fell trying to con the officials into awarding a foul.

And the ex-Manchester United and Hibernian midfielder is adamant the only reason Guidetti did not raise his hands to appeal for the penalty was because of a fear he may be booked for 'simulation'.

Stewart said: "It's not a penalty, it's quite simple. Willie Collum took his time, which was the right thing to do; don't dive in as a referee and make your mind up, give yourself a bit of time. I cannot believe, after he gives himself a bit of time, he comes up with that decision.

"He throws himself down. There is no doubt in my mind he dives, 100 per cent.

"The reason I think he doesn't put his hands up is because he knows he's thrown himself down to the ground and he's thinking to himself 'if I don't make a scene of this I might go unnoticed and the referee might not book me'.

"That is a dive, as far as I'm concerned. He's thrown himself to the ground. It's a dive and it's a yellow card.

"The big thing was the penalty killed the game. Everyone talks about the red card and how it changed the game, and it did.

"But (before the penalty) it was only 1-0. Hearts were down to 10 men but they had set themselves up, they were resolute and hard to break down. It was only seven minutes into the second-half and if Hearts could have kept it 1-0 for another 10 or 15 minutes the game would have been different."

The penalty was one of three major incidents Collum was faced with during a trying afternoon for the referee, with his decision not to allow a Kris Commons strike when Hearts keeper Neil Alexander lost control of the ball on the ground also drawing criticism.

However, Stewart believes Collum did get something right when he sent-off Gorgie midfielder Morgaro Gomis just seven minutes into Celtic's 4-0 victory following a lunge on Scott BRown.

Stewart claims he 'likes' to see such aggressive tackles but has confessed the current laws of the game made the red card inevitable.

Speaking on BBC Scotland, Stewart added: "There were a couple of wee challenges (on Gomis), niggles, that could have been a foul and you saw him having a word with Willie Collum; he was probably not best pleased with it.

"Then the ball broke very quickly and he wanted to go and win it and put a marker down.

"I like those tackles, I've got to say, but in the modern day you just can't get away with it when you're off the ground.

"For me, I like that, I think it's the sort of thing that gets a crowd going. Unfortunately, you just can't get away with it, especially when you've got a referee like Willie Collum. He's never going to give you any leeway and it's a red card.

"On that incident, Hearts supporters and Robbie Neilson will look at it and realise that, in modern-day football, you can't get away with a challenge like that, unfortunately.

"He's a competitive midfielder and I think what he sees is the chance to win the ball and put in a hard tackle.

"I don't think it was a case of the red mist. Yes, he's maybe been noised up by a couple of little niggles beforehand but I think he's really just wanting to put in a hard tackle.

"You just can't get away with it in modern football. I like it but you can't do it."