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Thursday 22 June 2017

Rodgers fumes at ref call

Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA
Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hit out at referee Don Robertson's "embarrassing" decision to award Ross County a late penalty and blamed him for losing control of the game ahead of Scott Brown's late red card.

Brown was sent off for a wild challenge on Liam Boyce moments after the County striker had sealed a 2-2 draw with a last-minute spot-kick after Alex Schalk's blatant dive.

The Celtic skipper looked set to miss next Sunday's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers through suspension, but it is understood Celtic will appeal and the hearing will be heard on April 27, a week later than normal because of the Easter holidays, meaning he will be available for Hampden.

But Rodgers was still fuming at the decision to award a spot-kick as Schalk got in front of Erik Sviatchenko and threw himself to the ground, despite no contact whatsoever.

"There is no danger, but the referee absolutely takes the point away from us," the former Liverpool boss said. "I have seen some bad decisions up here since I've been at Celtic, but that is the worst. He is right in front of it and there is clearly no contact.

"Sometimes a ref can be conned into it a bit if Erik stretches his leg or dangles his foot. That can sometimes invite it, but he never did that. He moved his foot out of the way. The boy falls and he gives a penalty, which was incredible.

"It's an embarrassing decision at this level."

"Is it cheating? It is. Let's not fudge and beat about the bush. That's what it is.

"You see it in the game, but the referee lost control of the game, which led to the penalty and the sending-off. It wasn't very good officiating."

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