John Guidetti won’t face SFA action over ‘dive’

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JOHN Guidetti will not face a notice of complaint from the SFA for his part in the controversial penalty kick awarded to Celtic in Sunday’s Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Hearts at Tynecastle.

The on-loan Manchester City striker went down in the area despite there being no contact made on him by a sliding challenge from Hearts defender Brad McKay.

Guidetti went down in the area despite there being no contact made on him by Brad McKay. Picture: SNS

Guidetti went down in the area despite there being no contact made on him by Brad McKay. Picture: SNS

Referee Willie Collum immediately pointed to the spot and Guidetti got up to convert the penalty for Celtic’s second goal against a Hearts side earlier reduced to ten men by a straight red card for Morgaro Gomis.

Celtic went on to win 4-0 and will now face Dundee at Dens Park in the last 16 of the tournament after the fifth-round draw was made at Hampden yesterday afternoon.

Guidetti was accused in some quarters of simulation in earning the penalty, with Sky Sports pundit and former Hearts winger Neil McCann claiming he had “conned” the referee. But it is understood the SFA’s Compliance Officer will be taking no action against Guidetti, having been satisfied after watching television footage that the player simply lost his footing and slipped.

That assessment was fully endorsed by Celtic first-team coach John Kennedy who has insisted Guidetti would never deliberately attempt to mislead match officials. “He’s not that type of player,” said Kennedy. “He’s certainly not a player who looks to con anyone or dive.

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“I’ve seen the incident replayed. His momentum has taken him forward, he’s tried to cut the ball back and sometimes your natural movement in that instance is to fall over.

“He’s certainly not dived or been theatrical and he has not claimed for a penalty to the referee. The referee gave the decision very quickly so that is the end of the matter. So if anyone comes out and tries to call John a cheat I would certainly dispute it because that is not the case.”

The successful spot-kick was Guidetti’s 11th goal of the season for Celtic who remain keen to translate his loan deal into a permanent transfer next month. “John is the type of player where if we get him in and around the box he is creative,” added Kennedy. “He’s got good feet for a reasonably stocky, big lad and one thing he has in abundance is confidence, which is very important at a club of this stature.

“He believes he belongs there, that he is good enough to play at a club like this and sometimes that can go a long way in making sure you are able to succeed here. And he backs it up with the ability to score goals.

“If we get him into positions to create a chance for him then nine times out of ten John will score the goals. We are delighted we got the opportunity to bring him in and hopefully we can keep him.”

There are two all-Premiership ties in the fifth round of the cup. In addition to Dundee-Celtic, Partick Thistle will host the winners of tonight’s fourth-round replay between Inverness and St Mirren. Holders St Johnstone will travel to Dumfries to face Queen of the South, Rangers will welcome Raith Rovers to Ibrox and Hibs have a home tie against League Two leaders Arbroath.

Spartans have landed another home draw, against either Berwick Rangers or Albion Rovers, Dundee United will travel to either Stranraer or Dunfermline and Falkirk will host either Annan or Brechin.

“Going to Dens Park is one of the toughest draws we could have got,” added Kennedy. “You would always prefer a home draw then take it from there, but Dundee are a team we’ve found it difficult against twice in the league this season, especially away from home when we drew 1-1, but we’re moving forward as a team and hopefully we’ll have progressed further when we come to play them.

“I’ve been impressed by what Paul Hartley has done in charge of Dundee. I know him pretty well from his playing days and I saw the kind of character he was when he was at Celtic. I think his team are reflecting the way he is. They’ve got real fight and determination and that sums Paul up. I think it’s important a team reflects what you are.”

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