SFA will do 'everything possible' to avoid referee strike

The Scottish Football Association have vowed to do "everything possible" to avert a referees strike at the weekend.

SFA president George Peat described a decision by category one referees to refuse appointments as a "sad day for Scottish football".

Peat added: "We will do everything we possibly can to broker a deal before the weekend because it's obviously important that officials are on duty on Saturday and Sunday."

Peat said: "We do not condone the strike but we must sympathise with the grievances of the referees."

He added that fulfilling fixtures at the weekend depended on the outcome of a number of meetings he hoped would take place.

And Peat appeared to make a veiled criticism of Celtic, who have been at the heart of the controversy since Dougie McDonald rescinded a penalty he initially awarded to the Glasgow club against Dundee United on October 17.

In a prepared statement, Peat said: "Unfortunately the behaviour of some people in recent weeks has tarnished the image of Scottish football. It has demeaned the game.

"The culture of inference, innuendo and conspiracy theories must stop."

Peat did not name John Reid but there was little doubt he was referring to the Celtic chairman, who last week called for the SFA to sack McDonald over his admission that he misled Parkhead manager Neil Lennon on the circumstances surrounding his U-turn.

Asked about Reid's intervention, Peat said: "We haven't even discussed that but the comments certainly weren't helpful.

"I don't want to personalise this, I'm just talking about comments which have been made recently which have not helped.

"Referees have always had criticism. Most clubs fortunately take that as part of the game and they leave them alone.

"If we consider that some of the comments have brought the game into disrepute, then we would take action, but we haven't considered that yet."

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