THE SFA are to common sense what Long John Silver was to tap-dancing.

How else can you explain their absurd decision to award the coveted whistle to Don Robertson to adjudicate in Celtic’s Premiership game at Livingston tomorrow?

Somehow in the selection process – if there is such a thing in their Hampden hideaway – the Scottish football svengalis have catapulted the match official into pole position in West Lothian, a choice which has been quite rightly universally panned as being in the barmy category.

Maybe the all-powerful masterminds in blazers who preside over the sixth floor at the national stadium possess a kooky sense of humour? Perhaps they derive warped satisfaction from indulging in jolly japes, the sort much favoured by adolescent kids?

SEEING RED…Don Robertson dismisses a befuddled Yang Hyun-jun at Tynecastle.

It’s a nonsense, of course. Robertson’s name is still very much in vogue after his brain-twisting performance at Tynecastle earlier this month when he teamed up with John Beaton to provide a comedy exhibition unseen since the incomparable Morecambe and Wise at their peak.

It was all slapdash stuff as a red card was brandished under the nose of a bewildered South Korean much to the delirious amusement of those of a Hearts persuasion on a day of capers in the capital when the champions were invited to step onto a giant banana skin.

Robertson reached for the dreaded crimson-coloured piece of cardboard with such a flourish that I half-expected him to delve into his top pocket to produce a bunch of flowers for his next trick.

Meanwhile, back at Clydesdale House in Glasgow, sidekick Beaton, an acclaimed guru of the remote control, lined up the next gag. They were rolling in the aisles with much sidesplitting guffaws when the inevitable penalty-kick arrived just before the interval.

Robertson stopped short at tugging his forelock as he dutifully reviewed the phantom incident involving Tomoki Iwata, a moment he had witnessed in real time while being afforded a perfectly unobstructed view. There was no sign of the match official even hinting at a spot-kick.

He had a remarkable somersault in his judgement after reviewing the occurrence on his touchline monitor. We’ll never know why there was such an extraordinary u-turn in his thinking.

It was all good knockabout stuff – unless, of course, you were on the receiving end of the custard pie.

CAPITAL CAPERS…Joe Hart has something to say as Don Robertson awards a penalty-kick to Hearts. 

Brendan Rodgers called the performance from the officials “incompetent”. Onlookers who were capable of utilising a morsel of their grey matter would undoubtedly have concurred.

So, here we are today, dear reader. The Celtic manager will be in the stand in West Lothian tomorrow while the diligent Don goes through his routine on the field of play.

The consolation, of course, is that it is unlikely Robertson will be tasked with whistle-and-card duties at Ibrox a week tomorrow. Of course, we can never be too sure of what those wacky funsters in the national stadium lair will conjure to keep us all entertained.

That leads us nicely to who actually will be bestowed the responsibility of taking charge of a potentially volatile confrontation in Govan. Who among the card-waving fraternity will be handed the live grenade?

The decision-makers surely wouldn’t team up the dreaded Robertson and Beaton again. Would they? The pair must have exhausted their repertoire at Tynecastle. Maybe the SFA will think no-one will notice if they switch their positions, Beaton with the whistle and Robertson in front of the multi-screens?

The hosts in Govan went public – and escaped censure – with their displeasure at Willie Collum’s VAR showing when Pilippe Clement paraded a hitherto unseen petted lip when Michael Beale’s successor experienced his first domestic defeat in the 2-1 loss at Parkhead just before the turn of the year.

REF OFF…Joe Hart queries John Beaton’s decision to dismiss him at Livingston in September. An incredulous Callum McGregor looks on.

The Belgian was joined by the incensed Govan brown brogue brigade in the condemnation of the technical assistant as they complained about an incident which was proved conclusively to be offside.

Kevin Clancy was referee of the derby in the east end of Glasgow that afternoon, but most of the ire from the visitors was directed at Collum and there was even a futile plea that he never be allowed to enter a field when they were in the vicinity.

And Clancy, too, has been on their hit list in the past when the toys have vacated the pram.

On Tuesday, the match officials for Ibrox will be announced. Robertson, Beaton, Collum and Clancy are allegedly four of the nation’s top whistlers, but will any of the quartet be allowed to pontificate in the midst of a toxic atmosphere given their previous form involving both of the combatants?

How will the SFA deal with a thorny problem?

Maybe the solution could be provided with a toss of a coin.

Somehow that might be appropriate.



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