SFA back officials

The Scottish Football Association have jumped to the defence of referees after Charlie Richmond came under fire for his performance as Hibernian beat Motherwell.

The Scottish Football Association have jumped to the defence of referees after Charlie Richmond came under fire for his performance as Hibernian beat Motherwell.

Easter Road boss Tony Mowbray was sent to the stand before Derek Riordan struck an injury-time winner.

He refused to criticise Richmond’s decisions, despite him brandishing the yellow card on 10 different occasions, but instead accused him of spoiling the flow of the game, a claim echoed by opposite number Terry Butcher and the players.

But SFA head of discipline Drew Herbertson is more than satisfied with the under-pressure officials.

He told PA Sport: “From time to time referees have to use the tools offered to them to control the game.

“They have to carry out a number of things in the game’s best interests.

“The referees have a feel for what is required and when it is time to calm things down they will and manage the situation in appropriate manner so we are happy with them.”

Mowbray has intimated he will accept the two-match punishment which will see him miss the Bank of Scotland Premier League game at Kilmarnock on January 2 and Tennent’s Scottish Cup third-round tie with Arbroath fives days later.

Herbertson added: “We have to find out if it was straightforward or whether his conduct is deemed to be excessive.

“If it is straightforward then a two-match suspension will be imposed on him.

“If he would like to contest the decision then that will be passed on to the disciplinary committee.

“He will have seven days to decide from when receiving the letter but if Mr Mowbray chooses to accept the sanctions imposed then he will serve that from December 31.”

Hearts midfielder Saulius Mikoliunas will miss his side’s Boxing Day game at home to Falkirk after being sent off in the defeat at Rangers for a foul on Barry Ferguson.

Herbertson said: “The player was sent off for serious foul play and he will miss one match automatically in the SPL.”

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