BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
The Scottish Football Association have acknowledged that under-fire referee Willie Collum was responsible for another high-profile mistake by rescinding the red card shown to Callum Paterson last weekend.
The Hearts full-back was dismissed following a heavy challenge on Hamilton midfielder Darian Mackinnon during Accies’ ill-tempered 3-2 win at New Douglas Park.
Furious Tynecastle head coach Robbie Neilson revealed that they had trained with 10 men prior to the fixture after finding out that Collum – who has sent off 9 Hearts players in 36 outings – was in charge.
The capital club launched an immediate appeal and it was heard by an SFA disciplinary panel at Hampden Park yesterday.
Paterson broke off from duty with Scotland’s under-21 squad to plead his case in person, alongside Neilson and Hearts director of football Craig Levein – and it was subsequently ruled that the red card should be reduced to a yellow.
The 20-year-old will now be available to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle when the Premiership resumes next Friday evening.
It is far from the first time Collum, who is currently in Copenhagen to take charge of tomorrow evening’s Euro 2016 qualifier between Denmark and Albania, has seen his harsh decisions overturned.
He sent off St Mirren’s Kenny McLean and Motherwell’s Stephen McManus in the space of four days during January last term, only for them both to be later rescinded.