Brendan Rodgers wants referee Don Robertson to apologise

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has told referee Don Robertson he owes Erik Sviatchenko an apology after his Dingwall gaff.

Referee Don Robertson (centre) erroneously awarded Ross County a penalty at the end of last weekend's clash with Celtic. Picture: SNS

Rodgers still feels his side were cheated out of a victory against Ross County last week after Robertson wrongly handed the hosts a last-gasp penalty.

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Staggies striker Alex Schalk has been hit with a two-game ban after diving to the ground to win the spot-kick which earned his side a 2-2 draw.

Rodgers revealed he has since taken a call from the Scottish Football Association’s Referee Development Officer John Fleming, who apologised for the costly error.

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But the Northern Irishman reckons it is Robertson who should be saying sorry to Danish defender Sviatchenko, who was wrongly punished despite making no contact as Schalk hit the deck.

Rodgers said: “Everyone has seen the decision last weekend and as a referee, especially if you’re trying to get yourself promoted in the game, you have to get that right.

“But we have to try and help the referees and try to improve the standard.

“I had a call from John Fleming, which I really appreciated and respected - because he didn’t have to.

“Don Robertson doesn’t have to ring me, he doesn’t have to apologise to me. John did that.

“All I would say to Don Robertson is, ‘Make sure you apologise to Erik Sviatchenko’, because it wasn’t a penalty.

“But I’m sure he will learn from it.”

Controversially, Robertson will be on duty again on Sunday as the Parkhead side face rivals Rangers in the semi-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup after being appointed one of main match official Willie Collum’s additional assistant referees.

Rodgers has refused to complain about that decision but warned Robertson he risks losing the trust of his players if he makes another mistake.

He said: “Do I think he should be involved in this weekend’s game? Listen he’s made a mistake. We all do. He needs to get out on the field and as long as he doesn’t make the same one again then I’ll be happy enough.

“We’ve seen enough decisions from the Champions League over the last week or so that have been poor decisions, so it happens. What we have to do is help referees make the best possible decisions.

“But in circumstances like [Sunday’s] you have to get it right or you lose the trust of the players and that’s important.”