BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Scotland’s Euro 2016 refereeing team, led by the much-maligned Willie Collum, will have a dress rehearsal in the Europa League this evening.
Collum has been chosen to take charge of Bayer Leverkusen’s last-16 clash with Villarreal at the BayArena, with the Spaniards taking a 2-0 lead to Germany.
It is the Scottish whistler’s first European assignment since he suffered a domestic demotion, overseeing three games outwith the top-flight after awarding Inverness a contentious penalty against title-chasing Aberdeen in February.
Collum also had a high-profile bust-up with Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson during a roller-coaster campaign for the ref.
Nevertheless, he remains regarded by Uefa as one of Britain’s top officials – he has taken charge of three Champions League matches this season alone – and his place at Euro 2016 was never in doubt.
He will be assisted by compatriot Francis Connor this evening, with Irishman Damien MacGraith also running the line.
With Bobby Madden and John Beaton serving as additional assistant referees, it is the exact group which will go to the Euros, with Uefa keen for the officials to build a rapport ahead of this summer’s showpiece in France.