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Watch the incredible howler from Grant Irvine- promoted to referee Celtic v Dundee

For the second home match running the SFA are trialling one of their emerging referees in a Celtic home match.

Matthew MacDermid was put in charge of the 0-0 draw against St Johnstone with Grant Irvine the main in the middle for Saturday’s match against Dundee.

Over the last decade the SFA have been putting their faith in younger referees in the hope that they can again get someone involved in major tournaments but since Willie Collum’s brief appearance at Euro 2016 UEFA and FIFA have ignored Scottish officials despite the lobbying of Hugh Dallas.

Irvine has only taken charge of one Premiership match this season with Motherwell winning 1-0 away to Hearts on September 3. Paul McGinn was sent off in that match, one of three red cards that Irvine has issued in seven matches this season.

In April 2022 in a match between Aberdeen and Livingston at Pittodrie Irvine watched Max Stryjek collect a cross then move towards the edge of his box before knocking Vicente Besuijen over before clearing the ball.

The Dons forward was completely innocent but rather than award Aberdeen a penalty and send Stryjek off, Irvine opted to book both players.

After that match Dons boss Jim Goodwin said:

I saw the Livingston goalkeeper, he pushed his hand into Vincente while the ball was in play. By the letter of the law it should be a red card and penalty.

I don’t like talking about referees, pundits and journalists have all discussed how poor the officials have been this year.

I don’t want to add to it but hopefully it will improve next year. Some big moments and key decisions went against us

The SFA hit Strykek with a retrospective two match ban which was of no use to Aberdeen who lost the match 2-1.

Last season Irvine was given nine Premiership matches, if he can get through Saturday’s match following the script from Crawford Allan and Andrew Dallas he’ll be climbing the ladder with more regular matches involving Celtic.

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