Brendan Rodgers says Scottish referees doing 'very best' and need improved support
"They are amateur referees who sometimes make mistakes. We have to accept that," says Rodgers; Celtic boss has 'no concern' over potential citing for Jozo Simunovic
Last Updated: 08/02/19 3:06pm
Brendan Rodgers says the scrutiny surrounding decision-making by referees in the Scottish game is understandable, but the Celtic manager insists they are doing their "very best" in difficult circumstances.
Rodgers believes a wider discussion is needed over how referees can be supported, following a series of high-profile decisions which have caused debate this season, as well as post-match disciplinary processes.
Scottish football's top-flight managers, referees and senior figures from the SFA attended a meeting last month to chiefly discuss refereeing, with backing for the introduction of Video Assistant Referees emerging as a strong possibility.
Asked about the increased spotlight on refereeing decisions, Rodgers said: "The decisions have obviously allowed it.
"If there weren't so many decisions that were dubious and wrong then of course then there wouldn't be. But I just think it is the modern game. It is a difficult job up here for referees.
They need help and support - it is a bigger issue around the game up here in terms of how can support the referees and the association because you only have a very small pool of referees refereeing in what is a fanatical country for their football.
"These guys are doing their very best. The reality is they are amateurs. They are amateur referees. They are doing their very best.
"Most of them have jobs to go and work bu the focus doesn't come off them any less. Bu that is the reality of where they are. They are doing their vert best. They are amateur referees who sometimes make mistakes. We have to accept that.
"They need help and support - it is a bigger issue around the game up here in terms of how can support the referees and the association because you only have a very small pool of referees refereeing in what is a fanatical country for their football. There is a bigger issue there in terms of how we can help and support them."
Jozo Simunovic struck Hibernian's Oli Shaw with his elbow as they both challenged for an aerial ball, with the 20-year-old striker forced off at half-time with the injury, but Rodgers is not fearful of a potential ban for the Croatian ahead of their Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against St Johnstone on Sunday.
Rodgers said: "Not in my book. It was a strong challenge, an aggressive challenge but I think defenders will tell you you are jumping with a young striker, especially a young boy from Hibs who is a very good one, you have got to be strong and committed in the challenge. I think it was that.
"There is a thirst as you say to nowadays over analyse absolutely everything. But sometimes you have got to think sometimes that it can be a good challenge that doesn't need analysis and you get on the game.
"But I understand that everything gets analysed now. But no, I have no concern."