Luxembourg referee 'kept in dark' over strike

Luxembourg referee Alain Hamer may have reconsidered his part in officiating in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League last weekend if he had been informed of the reason for the Scottish refereeing strike sooner than two hours before kick-off.

Hamer was in charge of Saturday's 2-2 draw between Celtic and Inverness and was due to take part in a unique Old Firm double, only to be denied by the weather as Rangers' match at Dundee United was postponed by snow.

Hamer, who will be 45 next month and must therefore retire from his role as a top official, was in charge of Hapoel Tel Aviv's Champions League match with Benfica on Wednesday night and returned home to be told his services would be required in Scotland.

Hamer told the Scottish Sun: "I wasn't given all the facts about my job before I came to Scotland.

"I was told that the Luxembourg Football Federation had picked me to go to Scotland but no one told me why or, until the last minute, even where I would be going."

When Hamer arrived at Parkhead at 1pm, the real reasons for the strike were revealed - the continual questions of Scottish referees' integrity - but he continued and was relieved not to stir up further controversy.

"If I had more time I would have phoned my colleagues back home and discussed whether or not to go ahead with the game," said Hamer.

"But I didn't have time. I did my job and the one pleasing thing from my point of view is there was no controversy and no one is talking about bad decisions I made.

"But we had a strike in Luxembourg two weeks ago so I understand where the Scottish referees are coming from. But I can't say much more about the strike."

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