Ange Postecoglou has demanded that referees protect players from reckless tackles.
And the Celtic boss has called on all officials to remove dangerous challenges that endanger stars and could damage the image of the Scottish game globally.
Postecoglou described Alloa’s Mouhamed Niang tackle that landed their midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi on the disabled list as “terrible” and failed instantly to fix the problem.
Match referee Don Robertson issued just one booking, but last night the SFA bosses upgraded the offense to a red card that Alloa is ready to fight.
Postecoglou confessed that he told his stars to stay away from the most dangerous entrances after the Ideguchi incident and says that officials must offer protection.
He said: “I think the role of the referees in any game is to be the protector of both groups of players and to make sure that there is an environment that protects the players from incidents like the ones we saw.
“It wasn’t just the one that caused the injury, I thought there were quite a few challenges that I could have had better control of. For me, that is one of the main roles of any referee.
“I’ll be honest, I told some of the guys towards the end of the game not to bother making tackles and just take care of yourself because I don’t want any more injuries.
“I just didn’t feel like there was control of that environment. Sometimes players are just plain reckless, but that doesn’t mean it’s excusable.
“We had a player who had a serious injury, there are a couple of others who were lucky to escape that and that’s why I was disappointed with the way the night went.
“I don’t question the referee’s decisions. I have never used them as an excuse.
“But, in terms of protecting the players, that is where the referees need to be vigilant, because we are told that they will be at the beginning of each season.
“I have managed in different countries, I have managed in World Cups, and there are certain rules that have changed along the way in my 25 years of management.
“But the one consistent factor is that we are always shown this vision of actions that they consider premeditated or reckless.
“It doesn’t have to be premeditated, it can just be a reckless challenge, and anything that endangers a player on the pitch needs to be dealt with.
“I was disappointed that it wasn’t treated the other night.”
Postecoglou believes that the introduction of VAR in other countries has helped them clamp down on dangerous infringements.
If left unchecked, he feels the Scottish game’s global reputation could be tarnished.
Postecoglou continued: “Well, I don’t think it’s a broader issue because most countries have VAR now and that sort of thing doesn’t escape punishment anymore.
“That’s the right way to do it. I don’t think anyone wants to see that and at the same time we want to sell this game and continue to increase the attention the game gets here in Scotland. We want to show it.
“We have signed players from the other side of the world, Hearts have signed a couple of Australians.
“The game here is having a global reach now and I don’t think people want to tune in and see people get hurt.
“They want to tune in and watch exciting football, so it’s up to everyone to protect the image of the game.
“If you have VAR, those kinds of incidents are resolved pretty quickly now and what you see is less and less because the players know they can’t run away from it anymore.
“Here in Scotland, obviously we don’t have VAR, but it’s not just the referees, because sometimes things can be missed.
“There are line judges, fourth officials who are also part of the game and their role is to protect that environment so that we all see what we want to see. Soccer is played.”
Ideguchi is facing a period on the sidelines and the coach added: “Being out for a period of time due to something during the game that could have been controlled by the referee is disappointing for him.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.