13 February 2019

Statement: Club 1872 Seeks Answers From SFA Over Disciplinary Process


Club 1872 has today written to the SFA seeking explanation for the incomprehensible decision making of their compliance officer, Clare Whyte and the judicial panels convened by them to oversee disciplinary matters in Scottish football.

Supporters of all clubs have been left confused and concerned by the process of citing players for events that it is claimed have been missed by referees, despite clear video evidence to the contrary. There are also major anomalies within the appeals process for red card offences and a complete lack of transparency and consistency in decisions reached.

The following questions have been directed to the SFA and we hope that they will properly address this situation before the continued actions of their compliance officer and judicial panels make a mockery of this season’s competitions.

1. How are judicial panels selected prior to appeals being heard? We understand there is a pool of around forty people to choose from but who decides which three of these forty sit on any given panel? Why is this process not transparent and why is there no explanation from the SFA on the role of the compliance officer in these selections? If the selection is not random and transparent, at least to the clubs involved in any given hearing, then why is that the case?

2. With recent decisions, the compliance officer appears to be ignoring the FIFA directive which states that citing cannot be used to correct bad refereeing. We now see instances where referees have awarded yellow cards but then appear to be encouraged to claim they have not seen incidents to allow retrospective action. When do referees submit their reports to the SFA following matches and precisely what steps are being taken to ensure that referees are not subject to any outside influence prior to submitting these reports?

3. The process of citing players after games, and the appeals process for action taken by referees on the park appears to be heavily influenced by certain media platforms and the prominence they give, or do not give, to certain incidents. Incidents have included blatant acts of diving and violent conduct which, when not highlighted by the media, have also been ignored by the compliance officer. Is trial by media an accepted part of the SFA disciplinary process and if so, what safeguards are in place to stop clubs, on whom undue focus is placed, from being unfairly penalised?