Dundee demand ref probe

Dundee United are to complain to Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith about the performance of referee Mike McCurry in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Rangers.

During a stormy Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter the Tannadice side were denied what looked a very strong penalty claim when Rangers defender David Weir clashed with Noel Hunt and a goal from Danny Swanson was, according to television pictures, incorrectly disallowed for offside.

Dundee United manager Craig Levein launched a scathing attack on McCurry claiming he “bottled” both decisions while asking, “if it’s not a level playing field and, if we don’t get the decisions – blatant, important decisions - then what is the point of turning up?”

A statement on United’s official website said: “We will be looking for a detailed explanation of the decisions in several controversial incidents during the game.

“We will also be seeking answers from the authorities on how so many such incidents – all in favour of one side – and the inevitable and understandable contention this causes, can be avoided in the future.

“It is widely thought that there is a bias shown against ’provincial’ clubs when visiting Glasgow, with Saturday’s game being highlighted as a prime example of this and reinforcing this view.

“This is damaging to the game as a whole and Dundee United believes that this situation should not be allowed to continue without careful examination and constructive proposals and dialogue between the clubs and the authorities.

“For the record, the club will be backing the manager on all the important issues raised by him following the match in question and hope that his honestly held views can be used as a catalyst for constructive change.”

Levein could find himself in trouble with the SFA after his post-match comments.

Amid his furious attack on McCurry, the United boss also said: “I thought Mike McCurry had the balls to stand up and give these decisions.

“Not only is it a penalty kick, but it’s a sending off for Davie Weir.

“But he didn’t want to do it because this game meant so much to Rangers.”

Reacting to United’s complaint, and the general abuse of McCurry over the weekend, SFA chief Smith said: “Everyone at the Scottish FA is hugely disappointed in the accusations that have been levelled at one of our match officials following the match at Ibrox on Saturday.

“To impinge on a man’s integrity in this way is extremely unfair and does nothing to encourage more people to take up refereeing.

“Michael McCurry has been a top-class referee for a number of years and has handled many a high-profile, high-pressure game.

“He has shown his own strength of character by being willing to be up front with his explanation of why he made these crucial decisions during the game.

“To suggest that there was any kind of agenda behind the decisions made on the day does a massive disservice to the game and, quite frankly, is completely unfair.

“Football is a game played by people and people can make mistakes.

“It is always frustrating when decisions go against you – but this has been a part of football since the game started.

“We rely on our referees to make decisions in a split second and without the benefit of countless replays. I think that it is extremely sad that an honest, dedicated professional has been treated in this way.”

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