24 Feb Neil Lennon hits out at ‘Mickey Mouse’ refereeing
Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon branded the standard of refereeing in Scotland “Mickey Mouse” after being sent to the stand during his side’s 2-2 draw against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
Lennon was ordered off by Kevin Clancy after the home side were awarded a penalty for handball against Ryan Porteous, and he reacted by sarcastically clapping in the referee’s face before being escorted away by a colleague.
Kris Boyd netted on the rebound after his penalty was saved to earn Killie a Ladbrokes Premiership point after Hibs had gone two ahead inside nine minutes through Florian Kamberi and Porteous.
Lennon joked that managers should be allowed to send referees off for poor performances, and admitted he had lost faith in the officials in Scotland.
Lennon said: “It’s amateur, it’s Mickey Mouse stuff. It needs to get better, it’s not good enough.
“Every week or every other week we’re talking about major decisions that are blatantly obvious and they’re being called wrong. Every week I see a manager complaining about poor refereeing decisions.
“I think the standard (of refereeing) is declining as the game in Scotland is improving.”
Lennon alluded to the fact he had previously criticised Clancy for failing to award his side a penalty against Rangers at Easter Road in December.
He said: “We’ve had to overcome another appalling refereeing performance. It’s cost us two points today, that decision.
“This is the same referee who didn’t give us a clear handball against Rangers at Easter Road.
“I don’t want him refereeing us again but I probably won’t get my way with that.”
Lennon added: “I didn’t think I did anywhere near enough to warrant a sending-off on the basis of my dismay at the penalty being awarded and I think having looked at it again I’m right.”
Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke refused to be drawn on debate around the penalty and, despite coming back from two goals down through goals from Jordan Jones and Boyd, he cut a frustrated figure after the game.
Clarke said: “We should have won the game, no doubt. We were the best team by a mile, I thought we were excellent today.
“I’m disappointed to drop two points in a game that we should’ve won because we were the better team from almost start to finish. It was a really disappointing start but after that we recovered well and played a lot of good stuff today.
“The first goal was really poor, it was a throw-in in front of the dugout and five seconds later it’s in the back of the net, can’t happen. Then a free header from a corner, can’t happen.
“The overriding feeling I’ve got just now is disappointment that we’ve dropped two points at home.”