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Griffiths: SFA needs to let referees do their jobs and stop ‘silly charges’

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has urged the Scottish Football Association to let referees get on with their job and stop the “silly charges”.

Griffiths escaped retrospective action this week following claims he stamped on Hamilton defender Sam Woods but Celtic and Hamilton have been handed disciplinary charges over the ensuing confrontation, which resulted in yellow cards for Griffiths and Alex Gogic.

Both clubs have been accused of failing to ensure they “conduct themselves in an orderly fashion”. Disciplinary rule 204 warns against “becoming involved in a confrontation; conduct that is likely to lead to or to exacerbate or prolong a hostile or argumentative situation with players and/or team staff from the opposing team and/or match officials; and conduct that may otherwise incite disorder”.

Griffiths said: “You are always going to get a bit of confrontation and it’s just about the ref handling it as quickly as he can and trying to let the game flow.

“Obviously the powers-that-be have charged us but that’s something for the club to deal with and us as players just focus on what we do on the pitch.

“There are always going to be bits and bobs but as long as it doesn’t turn into a full-scale riot with 22 players at each other’s throats, I think the ref can deal with it quickly and we move on.

“The ref on Sunday dealt with it well and dealt with it quickly.”

When asked if the SFA’s approach risked taking a healthy “needle” out of the game, Griffiths said: “I don’t think it will take it away from the game, I think they just need to let the ref do the job.

“The quicker the ref can deal with the situation on the pitch, the easier it will be for everyone involved.

“I think he’s got a match report to do after the game so if he puts in that that he dealt with it as quickly as he could, hopefully there will be no more silly charges.”

Griffiths denied deliberately standing on Woods.

“It was a coming-together,” he said. “I never meant to stamp on him at all. As I was on my way down I caught my foot and there was no other place I could plant it. But it was never going to be intentional, I’m not that type of player.”

The 29-year-old confirmed he had been booked by referee Nick Walsh for pushing Gogic, rather than the incident with Woods.

“Obviously the Hamilton players are going to think I have stamped on him intentionally but that’s never my intention,” he added.

“There was a bit of handbags after that and the ref got it under control quickly and we move on.

“Obviously my temper got the better of me. I don’t want to get into a pushing match but I am being accused of something I didn’t intentionally mean to do.

“It was frustration but the ref dealt with it quickly and we went on to win the game.”