Scotland boss blasts unfair FIFA rules as he confirms Celtic star’s call-up

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is looking forward to having a look at Celtic defender Tony Ralston after he was drafted into the squad for Monday’s clash with Denmark following Nathan Patterson’s ban – with Clarke blasting FIFA’s rules on bookings which he feels are unfair on teams like Scotland.

Patterson misses out after he picked up two bookings over the qualifying campaign but with Scotland in one of the few six-team groups, Clarke feels it’s unfair on his side as his players face two games more than other countries in qualifying.


(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With only Stephen O’Donnell available at right-back, Clarke confirmed the addition of the Celtic defender to the squad – although he admits Angeball is distinctly different from the style of football Clarke wants to play with the Scotland side.

“We’ve called Tony up to the squad to cover for Nathan’s suspension,” Clarke confirmed.

“Celtic play in a different way to us, but he has attributes that could make him a good wing-back or right-back.

“It will be good to have him in the camp and we’ll have a look at him in training.”

The rules which see players banned after picking up a couple of bookings left Clarke unhappy and questioned how it could be seen as fair.

Scotland have eight players walking a suspension tightrope tomorrow against Denmark as they look to secure a seeded spot in the playoffs in March.

“It’s classed by FIFA as part of the UEFA qualifying,” Clarke addded.

“Is it fair? Probably the most unfair part of it.

“We play 10 group games and other teams play eight over the course of qualifying and the yellow cards still count the same.

“I am not sure how that’s seen as fair.

“We can accumulate cards over 10 games and they can accumulate them over eight games.

“But we are not the only country in this situation, almost every country has numerous yellow cards hanging over the group.

“How we deal with it, is how you would deal with it any normal situation.

“It’s too many players to say, ‘you can all get booked and miss a game’ and there’s too many players for me to leave out.

“So looking at it just now after a long night travelling back and not much sleep, it’s a case of we need something from the Denmark game to secure the seeding.

“Getting the seeding is important in the first place.

“Then you have to trust you don’t get an over-officious referee who wants to book everybody for every silly little indiscretion.

“So common sense from the players who play and the officials officiating the game and we should be fine.

“The lads have picked up one yellow card over the course of a nine-game campaign and hopefully they can manage to go through another game without picking up anything else.

“Then you go to the play-offs and you could pick up five or six bookings in the first one and they could all miss the final, which is extra unfair.”

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Categories: InternationalsMatch PreviewScotland
Tags: nathan pattersonScotlandSteve Clarketony ralston