Steven Gerrard hits out at SFA over ‘inconsistent’ retrospective punishments

The Rangers boss has lost striker Kemar Roofe to a two-game ban.

By Press Association Published: 12 February 2021 - 11.12am

Steven Gerrard has warned there will soon be no point having referees if the Scottish Football Association continues to dish out retrospective bans for incidents missed by match officials.

The Rangers manager has again hit out at the controversial Hampden compliance system after seeing Kemar Roofe suspended for two games by a disciplinary panel for his challenge on St Johnstone’s Murray Davidson.

Roofe was charged after it was ruled that referee David Munro had not seen the incident during last week’s 1-0 win over Saints “in its entirety”.

Gers appealed, arguing the official must have had a reasonable view given he booked the Light Blues striker.

But that challenge failed, leaving Gerrard frustrated again just days after he called for greater consistency in the wake of seeing Alfredo Morelos punished for a stamp on Hibernian’s Ryan Porteous while Leith defender Darren McGregor was let off for a similar offence against Glen Kamara in the same game.

Now the Ibrox boss has accused the SFA of “disrespecting” its own officials by re-refereeing incidents not spotted at the time.

“In the report we got there was certain wording and certain language that said the incident hadn’t been seen or wasn’t seen clearly,” he said. “There was a yellow card given.

“You can’t days or hours after a game change your mind or have three guys come and re-referee the game. If that’s the case, what’s the point in us having referees?

“Why not just have no referees and we’ll just make all the decisions days and hours after the game and we’ll go from there? It’s not right. It doesn’t happen anywhere else.”

Gerrard, who will now be without both Roofe and Morelos for Saturday’s Ibrox clash with Kilmarnock, believes the introduction of VAR, goal-line technology and full-time officials are the answer to the SFA’s crisis-hit disciplinary procedures.

He said: “We’ve got to trust the referees. They are going to make mistakes. They are human beings. We’ve got to give them support in whatever way we can and go from there.

“Otherwise we’re going to continue getting inconsistencies. Certain clubs are going to get different (treatment) than others because they’re on the TV more and are more high profile.

“The situation won’t change unless we all collectively support the SFA and the officials in getting them the necessary support to be better and more consistent.

“Full-time referees is one area where 100 per cent the level would get better up here.

“I think the guys do a terrific job considering they are part-time and have other jobs.

“But if we can give them more support financially to become full-time, if we can introduce goal-line technology, if we can let the referees be themselves and make the big calls and if we can tweak and change the current situation – I’m not saying it needs to be ripped up – it’s certainly an area that I believe can get a lot better for everyone up here.

“I must admit that I don’t know where the SFA are at in terms of VAR, goal-line technology and the stuff that would be a big support for the officials up here.

“But I think my view is shared by a lot of managers, a lot of players, a lot of supporters and a lot of people in the media, that the compliance (system) and the SFA’s situation with how they go about things that happen on a football pitch up here does need guidance and support.

“We appealed (against) the Kemar situation because, one, we felt the game is getting (re-refereed) up here. We think that’s disrespectful to officials and undermining their performance on the night and when they see things live.

“And two, we didn’t think there was any malice or intent in the challenge. We understand it didn’t look great when you slow it down or when you show people it 30 or 40 times. We respect that.

“The decision has been made and we miss Kemar, another striker, for two games. At such a crucial time, that’s not great.

“In terms of the SFA, we’ll try to be as big a support as we can to try to improve things, not just for Rangers or for me, but for everyone connected with Scottish football because I think it’s clear there are many inconsistencies.

“There are challenges worse than Kemar’s, situations worse than the (Albian) Ajeti one that don’t even get looked upon.

“That’s not right for football up in Scotland and we have to find a better level of consistency.”

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