Smith refutes 'political' claim
Gordon Smith has dismissed Celtic's claim that politics played a part in Scott Brown's red card appeal.
Last Updated: 06/03/10 10:06pm
Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith has dismissed Celtic's claim that politics played a part in the decision to uphold Scott Brown's red card.
The Hoops skipper was dismissed in last week's Old Firm derby at Ibrox following a clash with Kyle Lafferty.
Referee Dougie McDonald's decision to send him off has been blasted by those involved with the Parkhead club, with the impending ban immediately challenged.
Upon looking at the incident again, McDonald decided that he was correct to dismiss Brown and the suspension stands.
That has infuriated Celtic, with boss Tony Mowbray claiming the appeals process is flawed and that the decision to penalise his club was 'political'.
But Smith, in Zurich for the International FA Board meeting, has responded by saying: "A political decision? I don't know where that has come from.
"I've no idea what he means by that. The referee was asked to review his decision and decided he got it right, and that's where we leave it."
Mowbray claims two previous incidents from games against Rangers have also gone against Celtic and believes they had a direct influence on the Brown ruling.
He said: "Maybe another decision in a massive Old Firm game not to go Celtic's way would be just a little bit too much.
"If it had been upheld, it would have been proven to be a wrong decision, I think. So maybe the political decision was taken that maybe the right decision had been made."
Meanwhile, Smith has welcomed the news that the SPL could be expanded from 12 to 16 teams in the near future.
He said: "The fact is a lot of people have a problem with playing against each other four times a season.
"It would make the games more exciting and reduce the number of fixtures and make them easier to fit into the season."