Scottish matches to go ahead as SFA find replacement refs
Scottish Premier League games will definitely go ahead this weekend after the SFA succeeded in its efforts to find foreign referees to replace the striking officials.
No fewer than 12 European nations declined to help but Polish officials, who had originally agreed to help out, performed an 11th hour u-turn after discovered they were replacing striking referees.
The Alba Challenge Cup Final and one of three scheduled Scottish Cup replays also go ahead.
Experienced Luxembourg referee Alain Hamer will take charge of Celtic’s clash with Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday before also overseeing Glasgow rivals Rangers’ game with Dundee United at Tannaidce on Sunday.
Hamer is no stranger to Scottish football having refereed European clashes involving Rangers in 2006 and 2008, as well as taking charge during Scotland’s 4-0 defeat to Norway in 2009.
Hamer’s credentials as a top referee cannot be questioned after the 44-year-old took charge of the game between Hapoel Tel Aviv and Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.
He will be assisted by countrymen Francois Mangen and Christian Holtgen for both games, with Scot Stephen Allan acting as the fourth official.
Israel’s Meir Levy will be in charge of the Hamilton v St Mirren clash, assisted by countrymen Oren Bornstein and David Elia Biton, with Scot Stuart Macauley as fourth official.
Fellow Israeli, Eli Hacmon, will take charge of Kilmarnock vs Aberdeen, with assistants Eyal Hatuca and Amihay-Yesoshhua Mozes, and Malta referee Marco Borg acting as the fourth official.
Borg will then take charge of the Alba Challenge Cup Final between Queen of the South and Ross County at McDiarmid Park on Sunday, with Philip Agius and Joseph Camilleri running the lines and Christian Lautier as fourth official.
Lautier also takes charge of the Scottish Cup replay between Beith and Airdrie United on Saturday afternoon, with Agius and Camilleri again acting as assistants.
Portugal’s Cosme Machado will take charge of Hibernian v St Johnstone on Saturday, assisted by Luis Ramos, Inacio Pereira, with Joao Ferreira as the fourth official. The same team then head west to officiate in the Motherwell v Hearts game on Sunday with Ferreira and Machado swapping roles for the 2.15pm kick off.