Willie Collum to take charge of Betfred Cup final between Celtic and Rangers in referee's first Old Firm game since scathing Gers statement

Willie Collum will take charge of his first Betfred Cup final since 2011
Willie Collum will take charge of his first Betfred Cup final since 2011
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Willie Collum will referee next month's Betfred Cup final between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden, the Scottish FA has confirmed.

The 40-year-old whistler, who has so far dished out 16 yellow cards and one red and awarded one penalty in this year's competition so far, hasn't handled a League Cup final since the 2011/12 meeting between Celtic and Kilmarnock which ended in a 1-0 win for the Ayrshire side thanks to Dieter van Tornhout's late strike.

The showpiece final at Hampden Park will be the first time Collum has taken charge of a match involving either side since the start of the competition in July.

He oversaw four group matches inlcuding Hibs' trip to Elgin and Motherwell's 4-0 win over Morton before reffing Aberderen's extra-time win over Dundee in the round of 16 and Hibs' penalty shoot-out win over Kilmarnock in the quarter-finals.

It is Collum's seventh match in charge of the Glasgow rivals, with his first coming in October 2010.

The match will also be the first time the official has been appointed to referee an Old Firm game since the Ibrox side issued a strongly-worded statement last season after Collum sent off Ibrox winger Daniel Candeias in a match at St Mirren.

The Gers slammed the SFA for the "inexplicable" decision not to overturn the dismissal, with a spokesperson saying: "Rangers afforded the governing body the opportunity to let common sense prevail and we are surprised they have chosen not to do so by correcting what was, and what remains an inexplicable decision by the match referee, Willie Collum.

"Rangers shall now seek a fundamental review of the rules relating to red cards which result from two bookings of a player in a game."