SFA get something right; player banned after shocking challenge on Celtic man

By Euan Davidson

December 8, 2021

Dundee United player Calum Butcher has accepted a 2-match ban from the SFA after a dreadful challenge on Celtic star David Turnbull [SFA].

That initial 2-match ban is extended by a further game, having already been banned for 2 games prior to the Celtic match. Turnbull was incredibly lucky not to get injured by the United substitute during a 3-0 win for the Bhoys. Turnbull scored the second goal for Celtic, showing incredible technique to lift the ball over Benjamin Siegrist.

With the SFA coming under fire from all directions this season, swift justice needed to be handed out. Butcher’s hearing was originally set for tomorrow, but the SFA disciplinary panel fast-tracked the case even further.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The decision made by the SFA was as follows:

“2 match mandatory suspension, effective immediately to the player’s Recognised Team’s next 2 matches, irrespective of competition (A1 – Serious Foul Play).”

Chris Sutton gave his take after the incident, saying [Daily Record]:

“It was an outrageous tackle. He could have broken David Turnbull’s leg.

“Listen, I like Calum Butcher as a player – but that was miles over the top. It was reckless and dangerous. Turnbull was lucky to avoid serious injury. You can’t allow that sort of challenge to go unpunished. What sort of message does that send out about Scottish football?

“That we allow this kind of thing to go on? This is not the Wild West. I can’t fathom why the officials missed it in the first place. It was a clear red card.”

Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues

Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

SFA make correct call on Calum Butcher after shocking Celtic incident

The tackle was high, it was late, it was everything a bad challenge can be. That he wasn’t sent off immediately is another example of the refereeing standards in Scotland.

Even then, here’s hope this is the end of the matter. Thankfully, the Celtic board haven’t asked for Dundee United to replay the game, or give the points Celtic already won at Tannadice.

We jest. But this hasn’t been and won’t be the only lasting SFA disciplinary furore this season. The introduction of VAR will have obvious advantages, but there’s hardly a lot of trust in referees to use it correctly.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

That isn’t just from a Celtic bias, either. Every team in the league will have felt an obvious decision went against them at some stage.

At some point, you have to hope these refereeing and disciplinary arguments can end. It’s tiresome, and a distraction to the real business of talking about and enjoying football. Referees constantly getting things wrong definitely removes something of the spectacle.

In any event, this is a decision that went the way it should. That it’s surprising tells its own story.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou gives special mention to Celtic talent Tobi Oluwayemi; first appearance may not be far away