Hinkel breaks the silence: ‘strange decisions’

Andreas Hinkel has spoken out about the number of strange decisions that have gone against Celtic this season.
The full-back was the victim of a savage attack from Kyle Lafferty on January 3 that was ‘punished’ with a yellow card and was left puzzled and confused by the decisions of referee Alan Muir in the 1-1 draw with Falkirk.
Despite Celtic’s many failings they still deserve a fair crack of the whip when it comes to decision making but on a consistent basis they are finding referees poorly positioned or having their views obstructed.
After a penalty claim against Dundee United earlier this season Craig Levein joked that his player ‘was disappointed that he never held on to the ball’ when quizzed about a possible handball against Darren Dods.
Both games against Rangers have seen strange decisions made although in fairness to Craig Thomson he did issue a second hand watered down apology for not giving Celtic a penalty at Ibrox in October.
Mild mannered and laid back Hinkel is a stranger to the Scottish game after arriving at Celtic two years ago from Seville.
Clearly reluctant to criticise officials the Celtic defender found it difficult to hold back when asked about Saturday’s penalty incident involving Marco Fortune and Falkirk defender Brian McLean.
Hinkel said: “I don’t want to blame the referee because we had enough chances to win the game but we had some strange decisions against us. Maybe this has added to our problems.
“As a player you give your best, but here, week after week, there is something happening.
“It’s not really my thing to say something about referees but once again we had some strange decisions. Not just the penalty- look at the situation when Artur had a free-kick given against him.”
Hinkel’s curiosity about the run of decisions this season extends to the predictable backing that referees can expect from their retired former colleagues who fall over themselves to back officials in their newspaper columns.
The defender added: “I’ve read a few newspaper columns from other referees and they tell me that the match officials here are very good!
“I just want to give my best as a player and I’m always calm but, if it’s too much, then I want to speak out about things.
“I read one referee saying another had done everything right and that was in the last game against Rangers.
“It hurts when we don’t take chances but it just seems to be one thing after another at the moment.”

Tony Mowbray has been reluctant to comment on decisions in after-match interviews but did speak out through The Celtic View about the decisions of Steve Conroy against Rangers.

In other circumstances Hinkel’s comments would be dismissed a paranoia and sour grapes but the German usually remains calm and detached from controversies as he showed during the Lafferty incident.

His comments could bring about a call from the SFA to explain his comments which would certainly make compulsive viewing.
Burying their head in the sand and pretending that it never happened however is a more common tactic from the SFA who can rely on the BBC to overlook certain penalty incidents in their carefully edited highlights.
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