Scottish football once again finds itself in a row about decision making within the Scottish Football Association (SFA). Nearly a year on from the referee strike and the beginning of Celtic’s running battle with the SFA, a new row looks set to start with the accusers on this occasion being Rangers.
They have engaged themselves in a war of words with the SFA regarding the two match ban handed to new signing Sone Aluko. He was accused of diving to win his side a penalty during their SPL victory over Dunfermline last weekend:
Decide for yourself whether the ban is justifiable or not, but while Rangers are of course angry about the ban because it robs them of a player, their fans have become frustrated with an apparent lack of consistency in the SFA’s disciplinary procedure. If Aluko did indeed dive then the ban is fair enough but surely if Aluko was classed as diving then the same could be said for Hibernian striker Garry O’Connor.
Once again it’s up to you whether you believe it is a dive but many fans and pundits alike chastised O’Connor for this. Now both situations are exactly the same. The player has conned the referee into giving his side a penalty end effectively cheated the game. The only difference is that Aluko has been punished and O’Connor wasn’t.
Some harbour the belief that the SFA are trying to make up for their poor decision making regarding the Majid Bougherra and El Hadj Diouf affair from last season. On that occasion the SFA angered many Scottish football fans by letting the two Rangers players off for their misconduct during the Old Firm “shame” game of last season. Are they simply trying to make up for that mistake? They may well believe they are but all the have succeeded in doing is creating a new storm.
The SFA always preach about consistency within the decision making process, well where is that being shown here? If O’Connor wasn’t banned then arguably Aluko should have went unpunished. If they are trying to write the wrongs of last season by punishing Rangers then that also isn’t acceptable. What is clear is that the SFA still need to work on their disciplinary process by ensuring a consistent punishment for those who are clearly guilty of the same offence and not just allowing the public to moan at one while the other gets banned for the same offence. They better look at resolving the situation quickly unless Scottish football could once again find itself suffering another season of unrest with its’ governing body being the cause.