17 Apr The punishment should fit the crime
Celtic defender Kieran Tierney feels Alex Schalk should face the same punishment as Jamie Walker following the Ross County player’s dive.
Schalk threw himself to the ground under no contact after getting in front of Erik Sviatchenko to win a late penalty, which Liam Boyce converted to earn County a 2-2 draw with the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders.
Tierney was the victim of Walker’s dive on the opening day of the season as the Hearts midfielder won a penalty before being hit with a two-match ban for simulation.
And Schalk can expect to receive the same punishment after fooling referee Don Robertson on Sunday.
“I knew straight it away it was a dive,” said Tierney, who scored Celtic’s opener from 25 yards. “It was the same kind of thing with Jamie Walker when we played Hearts in the first game of the season. But this incident was more obvious.
“I think Walker was banned for it, but it’s obviously not up to me. It should be the same rule for every player.
“It’s not a nice part of the game, you can expect contact, but you’re not going to go down if there’s no contact. It’s as simple as that.
“If it’s striker’s prerogative to do that then everyone would be falling about. Whenever you get close to people in games you need to stay on your feet, but if someone gets too close then fair enough.
“I couldn’t believe it when the referee gave the penalty, everyone was so surprised. The linesman had a great view and was standing straight in line with it, but obviously not.”
Celtic skipper Scott Brown was still brimming with anger when he got sent off in injury-time for a strong, late challenge on Boyce, whom he had earlier clashed with.
The midfielder will receive a two-match ban, but Celtic are set to exploit a loophole which will make him available for Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.
With the deadlines 24 hours later than normal because of the Easter Monday holiday, the Scottish Football Association had already told clubs any appeals from the weekend’s action would not be heard until a week on Thursday.
Boyce said: “I sort of knew that someone was coming, and I was waiting until the last second to try and get out of the way to buy a free-kick and take the pressure off.
“Once I flicked it though I just felt like I’d been hit by a bus, and I looked down and my sock was ripped and my leg is really swollen now.”
The striker added: “I had been hit on the hand and got it sliced a wee bit and there were a few comments then, and just before that I had made a challenge from behind on him.
“These things build up in a game and I think he might have been a wee bit frustrated with the way things went and it has just happened.
“I had fouled him and Alex had fouled him straight after, and maybe he was angry at the decision as well and things have just boiled over.”