SFA retroactively banning Celtic striker Albian Ajeti for a bookable offence is utter insanity

By Euan Davidson

February 4, 2021

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti may have taken a dive against Kilmarnock.

For my money, he didn’t. With Celtic FC’s ‘Unique angle’, you can just about make out contact on 00:31. Colin Doyle reaches for the striker’s ankles, Ajeti goes down.

Was it a soft decision? You could argue the toss. At the very most, the referee Kevin Clancy ought to have given Ajeti a yellow if he thought the striker took a dive. It wouldn’t have mattered a great deal, and Celtic would have won regardless [BBC].

So, for the SFA to “offer” a two-match ban for simulation well after the fact is absolutely staggering. You’ll notice in the clip that there’s not much argument from the Kilmarnock defenders, which tells its own story.

Now, we’re not ones for SFA conspiracy theories. There are other fan outlets for that kind of thing. What I will say, though, is that the timing is awfully strange. Rangers have called for “consistency” from the SFA [Rangers on Twitter], which is a hell of a laugh, all things considered.

Maybe the Hampden lot are feeling the pressure of media glare.

Look, Celtic haven’t been good enough all season. You’ll find little argument that, going by results and performances, Celtic have created their own problems this season. But when bizarre decisions like this are being made, while our rivals get away with some incredible antics, it’s a little hard to swallow.

Albian Ajeti, scoring against Kilmarnock / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti can feel aggrieved, here

Thankfully, the club are launching an appeal [Glasgow Times]. That means the Swiss striker can build on his all-round impressive performance against Motherwell.

The fact that we’ve got to this stage is just very, very strange, however. I’ve got zero doubt that being in a disciplinary committee can be hard work. No matter where you work, you’ll be accused of bias, even if you’re objectively correct 100% of the time. I get all that.

But it undermines the whole process when “consistency” is absent from the decision-making processes. Let’s say Ajeti did dive, a 2-game ban seems incredibly harsh, especially when a stamp isn’t worth a caution.

Missing two matches over a bookable offence is heavy-handed and disproportionate. We can joke about the comparisons to what our rivals get away with, but there are serious questions here.

Here’s hoping the SFA can see sense and we can forget this whole debacle. Ultimately, it was inconsequential in terms of the outcome of the match. Celtic were all over Kilmarnock and goals were going to come one way or the other.