Keith Hackett shares verdict after Rangers talent Chris McKee sent off for homophobia
We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive Rangers columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Ibrox…
Keith Hackett believes the Scottish FA will come down heavy on Rangers talent Chris McKee after he was sent off for homophobic language for Brechin City.
McKee, 19, is out on loan at Brechin whose 1-0 loss to Kelty Hearts on Sunday confirmed their relegation from League Two, and they will drop out of the senior set-up for the first time in 67 years.
During the first half McKee was sent off for “alleged use of foul and abusive language of a homophobic nature”, something Rangers have said they will investigate and “treat with the upmost seriousness.” [BBC]
When asked what McKee can expect from the fall-out of this incident, Hackett was in no two minds.
“A long ban,” he told Ibrox News.
“What I have found over many years is that the Scottish FA are stronger in terms of disciplinary measures than the English FA.
“I think they’re stricter and manage their code of conduct, with retrospective punishment for diving and those sorts of things.
“You cant say those things [by McKee] anymore, you can’t use industrial language or thoughts.
“One suspects the referee has heard it because he’s for the high jump.
“They [Scottish FA] will want to know is this a one-off, what is his line of behaviour.
“In these sorts of situations it’s more about education than punishment, when the FA looks at this they might say normally we give this amount of ban but is it actually going to achieve the end result, isn’t it actually better for him to be banned for a number of games but say ‘this is the process that we bring you in’.”
We await the club’s internal investigation, as well as the Scottish FA’s, but this is an awful cloud to be hanging over McKee’s head and there could be serious repercussions for it.
In a year when Rangers have had to deal with Ondrej Kudela’s racial abuse of Glen Kamara this is the last thing the club needs.
We adopted a strong stance to combat that form of discrimination and quite rightly we will have to do so once again, even if it does involve one of our own talents.
McKee is a young man who is still finding his feet in football, and life, but he should know better than to use language such as this, if the investigation backs up the version of events relayed by the match officials.
Hackett might be on to something on the topic of education, in that McKee needs to be coached through his error.
But there can be no doubting that there is likely to be a severe punishment dished out to the Northern Irish striker.