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‘SFA MUST THROW BOOK AT CHEAT SCHALK,’ EX-SFA BOSS

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ROSS COUNTY cheat Alex Schalk MUST get hammered by the SFA after his shameful dive to earn a penalty-kick against Celtic.

That is the view of former Hampden chief executive Gordon Smith who insisted there should be no escaping harsh and deserved punishment after he conned blundering ref Don Robertson in the 2-2 draw at Dingwall.

The Dutch striker fell theatrically without any challenge from Erik Sviatchenko and the match official bought into the simulation and gifted the Highlanders a late spot-kick from which Liam Boyce netted their ill-deserved leveller.

But Smith fully expects Schalk SFA compliance office Tony McGlennan file a charge for this offence this morning.

He said: “It’s a clear-cut situation and he will be punished. It’s straight forward cheating.

“In the case of Schalk, I heard his manager Jim McIntyre say his player was anticipating contact, that’s even worse in my opinion.

“It’s good that the cameras have shown this up and it’s also good he’ll be punished.

“Players need to know that if they’ve got away with it during the game, they’ll be punished for cheating eventually.

“I also believe that the two-game ban should be increased if it’s the same player, it should be three games and then four games for a habitual offender.”

Smith added: “The player decided that he’s going to cheat and is hoping he’ll get touched, but is going down regardless and that’s why Schalk needs to be dealt with and he will receive a two-game suspension.

“I’m not in agreement with the view held by some that a player is entitled to go down if there is any contact, that is bad enough.

“I have never agreed with that, it should always be the case that a player only goes down because of the actual challenge.”

The first case of retrospective punishment saw Ibrox striker Kyle Lafferty hit with a three-game suspension in 2009 for a ridiculous flop to the ground after simulating a head butt from Charlie Mulgrew, who was then with Aberdeen.

Smith added: “The first ever time the panel were asked to sit and judge on this ruling was the Mulgrew’s incident with Lafferty.

“That was the first case after we brought in this rule and it shows that it’s not just about incidents which lead to penalty kicks.

“It’s only when players gain an advantage and that’s the key. If Schalk had gone down and hadn’t been awarded a penalty then there would be no need to punish him retrospectively, it would be down to the referee to book him and an advantage hadn’t been gained.

“Diving is becoming a big part of the game, much more so than when I was a player and one of the ways to deal with it is to punish players retrospectively.”

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