By Doug Ward

30th Apr, 2023 | 10:10am

Rangers v Celtic announcement dubbed as 'SFA-sponsored act of provocation' as journalist rages over Willie Collum

Hugh Keevins has blasted the SFA for announcing Willie Collum will be in charge of Rangers’ Scottish Cup semi-final clash against Celtic at Hampden Park on Sunday.

The SFA confirmed this week that the controversial whistler will referee the penultimate Old Firm game of the season with a spot in the Scottish Cup final against Inverness at stake.

But columnist Keevins doesn’t believe it’s a good decision, suggesting that Collum is such a bad referee that the SFA have only chosen him because it’ll ruffle some feathers.

Writing in the Sunday Mail [page 57, 30 April], Keevins said: “Willie Collum goes from the bizarre to the inexplicable on a game-by-game basis like a man who could do the journey with his eyes shut.

“Which is how most managers, players and fans believe best sums up the way he referees games in any case.

“His appearance in charge of today’s cataclysmic cup tie at Hampden is not so much an official appointment as an SFA-sponsored act of provocation.”

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Keevins is right but if it wasn’t Collum in charge of this game, it would be another referee prone to having a shocker.

There are very few good referees in the Scottish game and everyone there is will have someone who can criticise them or hold something against them for something that previously happened with their club.

But Collum is an all-round aggravator of Scottish Premiership clubs – none more so than Rangers and Celtic.

He’s consistently terrible so you can expect the VAR to have a busy day in the office watching what is bound to be a very tight and well-contested affair at Hampden Park.

But there’s nothing Rangers can do about it right now.

The club can write letters to the SFA later but right now, there needs to be full focus on what happens on the pitch on Sunday.

No stone can be overturned and Collum’s appointment as the referee is an irrelevance in terms of the build-up to the game for Michael Beale and his players.

In other Rangers news, alarm bells are ringing loudly for this player at Ibrox after what was said on social media.