Hearts to press for rule change after Malaury Martin injustice

Malaury Martin was wrongly shown a yellow card on Saturday. Picture: SNS.
Malaury Martin was wrongly shown a yellow card on Saturday. Picture: SNS.
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Hearts have pledged to drive through a change to disciplinary rules after being frustrated in a bid to have Malaury Martin’s yellow card in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Motherwell overturned.

The Tynecastle club have learned they have no recourse to challenge referee Andrew Dallas’s decision despite it being so patently incorrect.

Martin was booked after Dallas adjudged him to have fouled Motherwell striker Louis Moult, who had in fact been tripped by teammate Lionel 
Ainsworth.

After talks yesterday morning involving head coach Ian Cathro, his assistant Austin MacPhee and director of football Craig Levein, the club initially decided to appeal the decision. However, it later emerged that the current rules do not cover the specific situation since the referee had not mistakenly identified Martin, pictured. Dallas was convinced the Hearts No 88 had committed the foul. Despite television pictures proving this was not so, the fact the referee had not mistaken Martin for another player in his own team removed the grounds on which Hearts intended to base their appeal.

The tone of a statement released yesterday evening reflected the Tynecastle club’s frustration. “Put quite simply, we cannot appeal on the grounds of ‘mistaken identity’ as the referee did not mistakenly identify our player,” said the statement. “He believed the offence was committed by Malaury.

“The referee did not mistake Malaury for another Hearts player, which is the only situation that would allow an appeal to be successful in the case of ‘mistaken identity’. Nor can the yellow be rescinded by referee Dallas as the rules do not allow for this. NB Yellow cards can only be appealed in Scotland on two grounds, ‘simulation’ and ‘mistaken identity’. The club is going to pursue a potential rule change at the earliest opportunity so that common sense can prevail in the future and no other player or club suffers a similar fate.”