Kilmarnock hit out at referees chief over Jordan Jones comments

Jordan Jones was hit with a two-game ban for simulation but Kilmarnock insist the player did not dive. Picture: SNS Group
Jordan Jones was hit with a two-game ban for simulation but Kilmarnock insist the player did not dive. Picture: SNS Group
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Kilmarnock have lodged a complaint with the Scottish Football Association following comments made about winger Jordan Jones by refereeing chief John Fleming.

Referee Steven McLean pointed to the spot after the Northern Ireland international went down in the box after attempting to get past Dundee defender Cammy Kerr, sparking vociferous protests from Kerr and his team mates.

Eamonn Brophy scored the penalty and Steve Clarke’s side picked up the three points, only for Jones to be hit with a notice of complaint after a trio of former referees studied footage of the incident and agreed that he had dived.

A statement from Killie said: “Whilst we have every right to deny the allegation we are not inclined to on this occasion as we had no additional substantive evidence to submit for consideration.

But referees chief Fleming claimed Kilmarnock’s acceptance of the ban was tantamount to accepting the player had dived.

In a letter sent to the Dundee Supporters’ Association (DSA) in response to correspondence questioning the suitability of Steven McLean to take charge of Kilmarnock matches, the former whistler wrote: “The two-match suspension offered to the player has been accepted by the club which, in my opinion, clearly indicates the player committed an act of simulation during the match”.

Head of Refereeing John Fleming. Picture: SNS Group

Head of Refereeing John Fleming. Picture: SNS Group

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“On accepting the two-match suspension, the club, in my opinion, are accepting the player committed the act, solely to deceive the referee.”

In a statement issued in response to Fleming’s comments, Kilmarnock said: “In our statement on the matter, we made it clear that Jordan denied committing an act of simulation and denied any intention to deceive the referee.

“The sole reason for not challenging the charge was that we had no additional substantive evidence to submit for consideration so therefore took a pragmatic view to accept the penalty and move on.

“Having taken this decision and accepted the penalty, we expected this matter to be closed.

“It is unprecedented for the SFA’s Head of Refereeing to make remarks of this nature.

“The original correspondence from the DSA to the SFA and Mr Fleming expressing concern over the suitability of Steven McLean to take charge of Kilmarnock matches was completely baseless and cast unfounded aspersions on the referee’s character.

“It is highly ironic that after another organisation has cast aspersions on the integrity of a match official, it is our club which has been the subject of negative remarks by a senior officer of the SFA.

“A formal complaint has been submitted to the SFA and we expect the matter to be investigated fully.”