Motherwell will lodge an appeal against the contentious red card issued to Cedric Kipre by referee Craig Thomson during their 0-0 draw against Celtic at Fir Park.
The French defender was sent off for aiming a retaliatory boot towards Celtic captain Scott Brown four minutes from the end of the first half. It was the second time Kipre has been dismissed by Thomson this season, having also had his afternoon cut short during the Betfred Cup Final defeat against Celtic in November.
Remarkably, Thomson has now shown a total of five red cards to Motherwell players in the current campaign. He also sent off Trevor Carson, Carl McHugh and Charles Dunne during their 4-1 league defeat at St Johnstone last August.
Dunne’s red card was later rescinded on appeal and Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson made it clear he feels Kipre has been the victim of a similar injustice.
“I think everyone knows it wasn’t a sending-off,” said Robinson. “Two people brushed together and if there were two yellow cards from it, you might have thought it was harsh.
“It was just petulance from both of them. Scott Brown gives Cedric a little shove, Cedric brushes his calf against him. I’m 100 per cent certain it wasn’t a red card.
“I know it certainly wasn’t a stamp as was being indicated by the referee. If that was the reason for the red card, it certainly wasn’t that. I’ll sit down with the powers that be, speak with the board and we’ll see where we take it.
“That’s five red cards from the same referee for us and he’s not sent off another Premiership player this season. You take out of that what you will. I’m not saying anything.
“What happened today was that it spoiled a very, very good match. There were two good teams going for it and we ended up having to sit back which was inevitable against a team of Celtic’s quality.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, whose side are now 10 points clear at the top of the Premiership with a game in hand, had a degree of sympathy with Robinson’s viewpoint but could also understand the thinking behind Thomson’s decision.
“I can probably see a wee bit why he (Robinson) would feel it isn’t a red card,” said Rodgers. “Initially my reaction was that I thought it was a foul. Browny looks like he’s getting up, sort of pushing the guy to get up. Then I think the guy’s intent was to kick out.
“The only thing I would say is that Craig Thomson is right up level with it by the time the incident happens, he’s looking straight in at it.
“I suppose it’s like a boxer - if he throws a punch and it doesn’t hit, does that mean it’s not right? Maybe that’s what Craig was seeing. He (Kipre) has gone to lash out and has caught Browny a little bit, maybe not what you would expect to get sent off for. But Craig must have been looking at the intent of it.”