Jeremie Frimpong had a right go at Alan Muir recently, and it was great to see.
The Celtic defender was denied a stonewall penalty at Firhill on Saturday night. He was then penalised for giving one away that was less than soft. It summed up a horrific night from referee Muir, and Frimpong threw him under the bus for it.
However, there is one particular comment from Jeremie that reflects woefully on Muir and the SFA too. Speaking about him in the Scottish Daily Mail (20/01, page 87), Frimpong said the following:
“At the time, I went up to the ref and asked him to talk me through what I was supposed to have done. He didn’t say anything. I don’t think he could say anything because it wasn’t a penalty. But what can I do?”
So Frimpong decided to go up to Muir at the end and ask him what he did wrong. His answer was non-existent – he was simply blanked. Wow.
Players should be entitled to know what they’ve done
How much more respect would players have for the referees if they simply admitted to their mistakes? Whether Muir actually didn’t say a single word to Frimpong or whether he just refused to tell him what he did wrong, it’s a bizarre course of action from him.
If Muir was able to explain why he gave the penalty, you can bet it would’ve been easier to accept for Frimpong. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he has to make a case for being right. If he told Frimpong that he believes he got the decision wrong, it clears a lot of things up.
What he can’t be doing is simply ignoring players who are confused by what they’ve done. Referees have no reason to respond to abuse or criticism. However, they have should have a responsibility to be the judge on the field of play. If players want to know the error they’ve committed, they should be getting told about it.
The SFA will likely just sweep this one under the carpet. This reads to the supporters, however, as a referee who has made two glaring errors and then refused to explain why he made those decisions to a concerned player.
It shows the ignorance and arrogance that referees are allowed to get away with. Their decision on the football pitch is final. But it shouldn’t allow them to have the ability to make mistakes without having to explain it. Especially when those errors are putting specific players in a negative light.
John Beaton apologised to Steven Gerrard after refusing to give Rangers a penalty at Pittodrie in December (BBC). Is it only Gerrard who’s to get explanations and apologies? Muir’s attitude on Saturday is something we shouldn’t be seeing more of, but we likely will.