Hearts director joins row over refereeing standards

Hearts board director Sergejus Fedotovas has called for improved standards of officiating to avoid "bias" and "the risk of match fixing".

Hearts board director Sergejus Fedotovas has called for improved standards of officiating to avoid "bias" and "the risk of match fixing".

Assistant referee Steven Craven resigned and referee Dougie McDonald received a warning from the Scottish Football Association's referees committee as the fallout from Celtic's controversial 2-1 win at Dundee United continued this week.

Fedotovas accepts human error is a part of the game but said referees must explain contentious decisions and suggested incidents involving Rangers and Celtic were given greater attention by the game's administrators.

Fedotovas said: "I would not like to comment on any specific situation in the game in Scotland, but I would like to suggest that the refereeing standards need to go up significantly.

"If there is poor performance on the park by players it does not mean that the referee needs to match that level.

"Referees need to come out after the game and comment and explain their decisions.

"There is no place for a high proportion of human error meaning low standards. It can easily be a cover for bias and match fixing."

Fedotovas took his comments further by suggesting improvements to the SFA.

He added: "If the Scottish FA is interested in showing there is no bias and minimising the risk of match-fixing the organisation needs to continue working to improve refereeing standards by implementing the best practices available in the world and being innovative to insure that the Scottish game is not a place for reputation-damaging situations.

"And there should be no double standards, all clubs need to be treated equally, not just those that dominate the game.

"I do not remember any other situation where referees have been so strictly cautioned when it involved any other club outside the Old Firm."

Referring perhaps to the incident involving McDonald and Craven, Fedotovas added: "In an era where players, managers and clubs are suspended or fined heavily for their actions on the pitch, it will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of every honest employee and supporter of football clubs around the country that match officials could act as deceptively as has been reported.

"It is time that the Scottish FA implements a proper system of accountability otherwise the integrity of our game will be further diluted by future incidents.

"Honesty amongst our match officials remains paramount to the game.

"Those officials that fail that basic character trait should realise that the football pitches of Scotland are no place for them.

"High standards and not double standards, this is what we need to raise the game to a higher level."