McDonald facing ban over Wilkie challenge

Striker is second Celtic player in a week referred to the SFA's review panel
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The Celtic striker Scott McDonald's challenge on Dundee United's defender Lee Wilkie has been referred to the Scottish Football Association's review panel. Referee Stuart Dougal did not get a proper view of the original incident during Celtic's 2-1 victory on Tuesday night so he has handed the incident on to the panel. McDonald is the second Celtic player to be referred this week after Glenn Loovens' challenge on the Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu sparked another probe.

An SFA spokesman said: "The same review panel will consider both incidents and we hope to get it convened by the end of this week."

Both players will be free to play in Celtic's Scottish Premier League run-in as the review panel will refer the matter to the SFA's disciplinary committee, which will next meet following the end of the season, if they decide either player has a case to answer.

McDonald's studs appeared to catch Wilkie on the shin after he raised his foot while stretching to make a sliding challenge. The incident sparked a row between Dougal and the United manager, Craig Levein, who criticised the referee after he refused to allow treatment to the defender.

"He lost his composure, stuck his finger in my face and told me to shut up," Levein said. "It wasn't acceptable. In all my time in football, no other referee has ever done that. I have lost all respect for him after the way he spoke to me. If it happened in the pub on a Saturday night to any of you guys, the guy would have got a punch in the face.

"I asked him why he didn't stop the play for Lee Wilkie to get treatment and I don't think that is unreasonable. If you were Lee Wilkie and you had been out of the game for three years, you would be upset," said Levein. "It is compounded by the fact that he wouldn't let anyone come on. If he wants to look at the stud mark above Lee's shin he can do that."

Wilkie was also angered by the referee's response to his request for treatment. "I said to the referee at half time, 'what were you playing at?' and he said, quite arrogantly, that his kids had had bigger knocks than that, which was a stupid comment to make – his kids must be some size."

Levein may yet find himself in trouble over his comments if the SFA's general purposes committee decide to take the matter further.

Scott Brown claims refusing a switch to the Premier League in favour of Celtic was the best move he ever made. The midfielder swapped Hibernian for the Hoops in the summer of 2007, despite reports linking him with Everton, Tottenham, Reading and Middlesbrough. And, at 23, Brown has already won a league title, the League Cup and faced some of the best players in the world in the Champions League.

"Coming here is the best thing I could have done," he said. "I had the opportunity to go down to England and I might not have played Champions League football, I might not have played as regularly. But I have come here and done that. I have played against the best players in the world, I have improved a lot and I think you have to keep improving until the last day of your career. Everyone is still learning and I think, if you speak to the manager, he will tell you that he is still learning, so you have to learn throughout your career."

Brown and manager Gordon Strachan both picked up the top prizes in the PFA Scotland awards recently, with Brown voted player of the year by his fellow professionals.

"My ambition has always been to win the league and I managed that in my first season here at Celtic," he said. "To go on and win something like this is beyond belief."


The Celtic striker Scott McDonald has been booked 22 times (and sent off once) in his last three seasons with Motherwell and the Bhoys.