Former SFA chief executive wants club’s to get tough on cheats

Gordon Smith, former chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, is urging clubs to take a firmer stance against players who cheat, reports BBC Sport.
sfa

Gordon Smith, former chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, is urging clubs to take a firmer stance against players who cheat, reports BBC Sport.

In Sunday's match between Hibernian and Rangers, Allan McGregor held his face and fell to the turf, simulating a head-butt by Hibs' Derek Riordan.

The Rangers keeper was booked by match referee Iain Brines, as was Riordan.

"I'd like to see the clubs doing more. A lot haven't taken action when their player has done it," said Smith.

And he added: "Maybe that's because they feel they hadn't gained from it.”

"It was embarrassing from Allan McGregor's point of view. Players who do that nowadays - I think it's a disgrace," said Smith, now a football pundit with BBC Scotland.

"When I was at the SFA we decided to concentrate on three circumstances where the simulations actually resulted in some sort of outcome for the player which was negative to the opposition - a penalty, a red card or a free-kick that led to a goal.

"We decided we were going to punish situations that actually were successful simulations. We wanted to improve the culture of the game.

"In the incident between McGregor and Riordan, there was no advantage gained from Rangers' point of view so the referee will be seen to now have dealt with the situation: there won't be any retrospective action taken on it.

"It's like if a player cheats during the game and the referee gives him a yellow card. That's it finished, there is no retrospective action taken because it hasn't been 'successful', there was no advantage gained."

Sunday's incident was similar to one in 2009 when Lafferty pretended to have been assaulted by Aberdeen's Charlie Mulgrew, now at Celtic.

Smith said: "Rangers did take a lot of action when Walter Smith saw the situation with Lafferty and Mulgrew. He was angry about it and he took action within the club.

"But I'm pretty sure when Walter Smith sees this action from Allan McGregor he will be annoyed about it because it was embarrassing and it is something we want to cut out the game."