Hibs manager Jack Ross hints at double-standards as he offers thoughts on SFA self-isolating blunder

Hibs manager Jack Ross, said he was “quite sure that he was quite sure a lot of people breathed a sigh of relief” when Hibs Covid results came back negative this week.

Hibs manager Jack Ross oversees a training session as the Easter Road club prepare to welcome Motherwell. Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group
Hibs manager Jack Ross oversees a training session as the Easter Road club prepare to welcome Motherwell. Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group

The Easter Road club, along with last weekend’s opponents Hamilton, received a sheepish apology from the Scottish FA last weekend after it emerged that one of the assistant referees officiating at their game should have been self-isolating.

Graeme Stewart, along with David Roome and Bobby Madden, had been in charge of the Panathinaikos v Olympiakos in Greece the previous week, with Roome subsequently testing positive for Covid-19. Although Stewart and Madden returned two negative tests on their return, Government guidelines ear-marked all match officials on that trip as close contacts and, as such, none of them should not have been out and about.

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The error was discovered in time for Madden to be withdrawn from the Ross County game against Celtic but Stewart had already run the line at Easter Road.

The embarrassing blunder by the SFA forced an apology from chief executive Ian Maxwell, who launched an investigation and while Ross said he is not looking for anyone to be hauled over the coals he said it was notable that he incident had provoked less of an outcry than similar gaffes committed by others this term.

“It’s a mistake or mistakes, isn’t it? A lot of people have made them this season, but the fallout from some other mistakes has maybe been greater and the punishments maybe more obvious. But it’s the same thing.

“I was comfortable that we were not at any risk although I am quite sure a lot of people breathed a sigh of relief when our set of Covid results came back negative!

“Look, it wasn’t great, they’ve acknowledged that. There have been a lot of things this season that people have made entirely innocent mistakes over, and I don’t think this was anything other than that as well.

“So be it, I’m not looking for anyone to be heavily chastised over it. I just hope they bear that in mind when somebody makes a mistake in the future!”

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