Hooper calls refs into question
Gary Hooper believes decisions are going against Celtic as they are 'one of the world's big clubs'.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 03/11/10 6:17pm
Gary Hooper believes Scottish referees are giving decisions against Celtic because they are "one of the biggest clubs in the world".
The Celtic striker was involved in the penalty incident against Dundee United last month that continues to rage on.
Referee Dougie McDonald awarded a spot-kick after United keeper Dusan Pernis dived at the feet of Hooper but then reversed the decision after consulting his assistant, Steven Craven.
Celtic wrote to the Scottish Football Association demanding clarification over the incident while Craven has quit, accusing SFA's head of referee development, Hugh Dallas, and his assistant, John Fleming, of "harassment and bullying".
A dubious penalty was then given against Celtic during the following week's Old Firm derby at Parkhead, allowing Rangers to seal a 3-1 win.
And asked if he thought a disproportionate amount of decisions had been given against Celtic, Hooper replied: "Yes, I think so. We are one of the biggest teams in the world.
"Everyone wants to beat us and maybe the referee wants to give decisions against Celtic so that they can tell someone that they gave a bad decision against one of the biggest clubs in the world.
"All the good teams get it and they just get on with it and win games. We have to deal with it in our own way, don't react to it and just keep winning games.
"We don't really talk about the referees (in the dressing room), this is my opinion. We talk about training, getting people fit and doing it on the park.
"But it was a penalty. I admit he got the ball but he got me first. It doesn't matter really because we got the three points. It would have been a different matter if we got a draw.
"It's been three weeks now. We've had the Old Firm in between and we are talking about the penalty more than that game."
Lack of trust
McDonald has admitted lying to Celtic manager Neil Lennon after the game and asked if players would have confidence in such a referee, Hooper added: "I don't know really.
"He's made a mistake and then came out and lied about it. He said in the paper that he lied to the gaffer and lied to everyone else.
"Maybe we won't trust him because he might make another decision that will be everywhere three weeks after the match again.
"But it won't affect us, you've just got to get on with it and play your football. If we worry about that, our game slips and we lose points.
"Referees are not perfect, some of them will make mistakes during the game, but we have to deal with it and play our football."