THE SFA have published the written reasons for turning down Aberdeen’s appeal over Mikey Devlin’s red card against Kilmarnock.
Devlin was sent off five minutes into the Premiership clash at Pittodrie when referee Craig Thomson adjudged him to have denied Eamonn Brophy a clear goalscoring opportunity by pulling him down.
However, many onlookers and Aberdeen themselves thought Brophy had pulled Devlin’s shirt first and the incident was too far from Joe Lewis’ goal to be a clear chance with Shay Logan potentially in a position to get across.
The Dons made their case, including submitting video evidence, to the SFA’s fast-track appeals panel to try and get the red overturned.
However, today it was confirmed the embattled panel, made up of three ex-grade one officials, upheld the sending off – which sees the defender banned from this weekend’s league trip to St Johnstone – because they were convinced “on a balance of probabilities, that the referee had not made an obvious refereeing error in concluding that the player’s challenge on the Kilmarnock No. 25 (Brophy) was one where the latter was denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.”
The judgment went on to say: “The tribunal further found, on a balance of probabilities, that the
referee’s decision to dismiss the player for denying the opposing team or an opponent a goal or
an obvious goal-scoring opportunity was not a clear, self-evident, or easily perceived error.”
No mention of Logan was made, nor the suggestion Brophy had pulled Devlin’s shirt first, in the written reasons.
The summary of the incident given was: “The tribunal found that the Kilmarnock No 25 was getting ahead of the player, and was in control of the ball and heading towards the claimant’s penalty area and goal when he was challenged by the player.
“There were no other players on the field of play between the Kilmarnock FC No 25 and the claimant’s goalkeeper. The tribunal found that the player’s contact with the Kilmarnock FC No 25 caused the latter to fall to the ground and prevented his progress with the ball towards the claimant’s goal and therefore denied him an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The tribunal further found that the referee was well positioned to see the challenge and make his decision.”
Earlier this week, Aberdeen released an interview with boss Derek McInnes where he used “incompetence” to describe the SFA’s disciplinary procedures.
The panel has come under increased scrutiny for at times baffling decisions in recent weeks, having overturned Rangers’ striker Alfredo Morelos’ red card for kicking out at Dons defender Scott McKenna at Pittodrie, while also failing to overturn a red for Killie’s Gary Dicker.
Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor also escaped sanction for kicking Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer off the ball.