BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Much-maligned referee Willie Collum will take charge of Denmark’s crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Albania – despite being lambasted for his domestic displays.
Collum was strongly criticised by Hearts boss Robbie Neilson at the weekend following his decision to send Callum Paterson off for a heavy challenge on Hamilton’s Darian Mackinnon.
Neilson, whose side are appealing he dismissal, revealed that they had trained with 10 men prior to the fixture after finding out the card-happy whistler was in charge.
That blast, allied with comments aimed at Andrew Dallas by Inverness boss John Hughes, prompted the Scottish Senior Football Referees Association to dub the abuse of officials in this country “unacceptable”.
Nevertheless, Collum, who recently oversaw the Super Cup final between Barcelona and Sevilla, remains flavour of the month within the corridors of power at UEFA.
He has been chosen to officiate Saturday’s pivotal clash at the Parken Stadium as Denmark host Group I rivals Albania, with Morten Olsen’s looking to overhaul Portugal at the summit of the section.
Collum will be assisted by compatriot Francis Connor and Ireland’s Damien MacGraith. Fellow Scots Bobby Madden and John Beaton will serve as additional assistant referees, with Alastair Mather acting as fourth official.