SFA ref chiefs accused of "harassment and bullying" by Craven

Assistant referee Steven Craven, has accused Scottish Football Association refereeing chiefs of "harassment and bullying".
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Assistant referee Steven Craven, has accused Scottish Football Association refereeing chiefs of "harassment and bullying".

The assistant referee resigned following the controversial penalty incident in the match between Dundee United and Celtic.

Craven told Inverness boss Terry Butcher earlier this season of his intention to quit his officiating role at Christmas time following confrontations with SFA head of referee development Hugh Dallas and his assistant John Fleming.

"Morale is low, rock bottom in fact," Craven told the Sunday Mail. "But it is down to the pressure being put on some officials by Dallas.

"I'd had enough of Hugh Dallas and John Fleming. For a while I felt I had been the victim of harassment and bullying from them.

"Hugh has changed some things for the better, but I just wish he'd stop treating the officials like children. A lot of guys are not happy with it and are ready to walk away."

Craven has been at the centre of the furore which followed the October 17 Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash between United and Celtic at Tannadice.

Referee Dougie McDonald was on Friday cleared over his decision to rescind a penalty awarded to Celtic during their 2-1 victory, but accepted his match report was not up to standard.

Craven now suggests that Dallas was slow in accepting his version of events.

Craven added: "When Hugh phoned me to talk over the penalty, he said: 'So what happened after you called out for Dougie to come over?'

"I told him that was not the case. My reading of the situation was Hugh wanted to protect Dougie and leave me to take the flack.

"I was really upset after that conversation with Hugh."

Craven received a letter stating his resignation had been formally accepted on Friday morning, but plans to continue to referee at amateur level.

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