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SFA blast Celtic after leaking of ref complaints

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) have hit out at a Celtic source for trying to "exert additional pressure" on the match officials for Sunday's Old Firm derby by leaking the club's apparent frustration at refereeing decisions.

SFA president George Peat confirmed discussions had taken place between the governing body and the club but refused to divulge their contents.

BBC Scotland earlier reported Celtic were considering contacting the SFA to express their concern and frustration over refereeing decisions that had gone against them.

In a statement, Peat retorted: "We find it disappointing and somewhat bizarre that, in the build-up to an Old Firm derby, an unnamed Celtic 'source' would seek to exert additional pressure on match officials by issuing ill-timed and fundamentally inaccurate comments.


"The validity of these comments is questionable in any case, since the 'source' is not courageous enough to put his name to them.

"I am sure the Celtic chief executive, Peter Lawwell, will be concerned by the fact that someone has elected to speak on behalf of his club, seemingly without consent, and therefore undermined his authority."

Both Old Firm games this season have seen major decisions go against Celtic, including several penalty claims during their 2-1 loss at Ibrox in October, most notably when David Weir felled Shaun Maloney without punishment from Craig Thomson.

Marc-Antoine Fortune had a goal controversially disallowed by Steve Conroy in the 1-1 draw at Celtic Park on January 3.

But former referee Kenny Clark feels every club could have the same complaints as he criticised the Celtic source for his comments ahead of the clash.

"The cynic in me feels it is a deliberate ploy to increase the pressure on match officials," Clark said. "Every club could come up with a catalogue of decisions they feel have gone against them."