I watched Alan Stubbs just now in his pre-match interview for the weekend, and he is gob-smacked at the decision the SFA made yesterday to rescind Morelos red card. This site predicted that the SFA would do that, and they duly have, and their verdict is astonishing for the way it has created what Stubbs has rightly called “a grey area” in the regulations.
If a player aims a kick at another player, my understanding is that the card that comes out is a red. The SFA has not disputed that what Morelos did was a foul. But they downgraded it to a yellow. Stubbs is rightly flabbergasted at that and wants an explanation.
He knows he won’t get one. His astonishment is evident as he discusses the precedent it has sent. Looking like a guy who’s just seen Spiderman crawling up the side of a stand, he said, disbelievingly, “If you are another club and you’ve got someone who kicks out at a player then if you’re putting your case forward you’re going to show that … so that means that everybody will get off with it. I think. I think that’s what’s happened, unless we’re told different by the referees.”
His shock is understandable, and he knows full well that neither referees clarifying this nor other clubs succeeding with similar appeals will happen.
But he then raised an ever greater concern.
“I actually think it’s a little bit harsh on the linesman who’s given the decision,” he said,” because he’s not officiating this weekend, either in the Premiership or even in the Championship. So, I dunno, is it a coincidence? Has he been demoted? For what? Because technically it’s the right decision. He’s seen a player kick someone, so is it John Fleming who’s said he was wrong, or whoever was on the board? On the panel? I don’t know. Probably a little bit of clarity would be good.”
And he’s correct of course, but knowing the SFA and the way this has gone, the only clarity will be that which they ask Stubbs himself to provide at a disciplinary hearing for bringing the game into disrepute.
We play Hearts at Tynecastle this weekend, of course, and Levein’s players will be waiting for us in the long grass as it were.
They were already going to kick us off the park, but now they can do it knowing a kick brings only a yellow card.