John Fleming, the Scottish Football Association's head of referee development, has expressed his disappointment at comments made by Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels about match official Euan Norris.
Shiels accused the referee of making a "sarcastic" remark following his side's 2-1 defeat by Inverness at Rugby Park last weekend.
The Killie boss said he had reported Norris to the SPL match delegate and would also be reporting him to Fleming. The referees' chief confirmed no complaint had been received and moved to shed light on the incident.
In a statement, Fleming said: "I was disappointed that Kenny Shiels elected to speak to the media before myself in relation to comments from Euan Norris he alleged were sarcastic in nature after the Kilmarnock v Inverness SPL match last weekend.
"I was especially disappointed by this course of action since, in the very same interview, Kenny admitted he 'did not know exactly what was said but it was something flippant'. For the purposes of clarity, there has been no formal complaint received and no action intended against the match official.
"I have discussed the matter with Euan and his explanation is as follows. He was approached immediately after the full-time whistle by the Kilmarnock manager, who was shaking his head in disapproval.
"When confronted by a clearly unhappy manager on the field of play, Euan said: 'You are shaking your head for the benefit of the spectators'. There was no sarcasm; no flippancy. It is what Euan believed.
"Mutual respect between players, coaches and match officials is essential to the game. Recent events elsewhere only serve to underline that fact. I have always encouraged open dialogue as head of referee development but public comments such as those made by Mr Shiels undermine that relationship at a time when, collectively, we should be doing all that we can to enhance it."
He added: "On a separate issue, I also wish to confirm that Euan is recovering well after an incident at our referees' grassroots evening on Monday.
"Euan collapsed after feeling unwell and was taken to Wishaw General Hospital, where he was kept in overnight for observation and subject to 24-hour monitoring. In order to fully recuperate, I felt it wise to allow Euan some time with his family this weekend, perhaps similar to action afforded to any player in such circumstances."
- Sports & Recreation
- Kenny Shiels
- Scottish Football Association