SFA go in harshly on Celtic striker Albian Ajeti

By Euan Davidson

February 4, 2021

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti faces SFA disciplinary action after his “dive” against Kilmarnock.

The Swiss striker was judged to have received contact from Colin Doyle before falling in the box during Celtic’s 4-0 win [BBC]. Upon review, the Scottish governing body have raised concerns that Ajeti simulated to gain Celtic an advantage.

The SFA cited the incident, with a hearing set for the 8th of Feburary. This will mean that Ajeti is going to miss Saturday’s match against Motherwell, unless Celtic appeal.

According to the SFA’s disciplinary procedures, Ajeti allegedly breached Disciplinary Rule 201:

“No player shall cause a match official to make an incorrect decision and/or support an error of judgment on the part of a match official by an act of simulation which results in that player’s team obtaining a Substantial Advantage.”

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Celtic TV’s “Unique Angle” allows supporters to view whether Doyle made contract. It’s an incredibly tight call from any angle, and you can understand why a referee might give it.

To us, there was nothing particularly outlandish about Ajeti’s response. He’s certainly anticipating contact from Doyle, and it seems that the goalkeeper impeded the striker. Ajeti certainly makes the most of it, but as a striker, his prerogative to highlight that a foul has taken place.

It’s not cheating, nor is it worthy of punishment.

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti tucking away his goal / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Incredibly harsh on Celtic striker Albian Ajeti

It’s the kind of thing you’ll see every weekend. Certainly, if the club felt there wasn’t contact, they wouldn’t broadcast the foul on YouTube from an assistant referee’s angle.

So, you’ve got to assume the club will appeal, and rightly so. It’s incredibly harsh on the Swiss striker, who was excellent during Celtic’s 4-0 win.

This leaves Neil Lennon with another potential headache. Leigh Griffiths’ fitness is still a concern, while Patryk Klimala hasn’t had many opportunities to impress this season.

Odsonne Edouard is an automatic starter, but whether Lennon will persist with two up top against Motherwell (provided Celtic don’t appeal) is unclear. In any event, it would be draconian to punish Celtic striker Albian Ajeti for this incident.

Especially considering what’s being let go around the league.

Earlier today: how James Forrest might fit into a changed Celtic side