It seems like an incredible excuse, UEFA deal with football matters while every day of the week the people of Scotland are under the rule of the Scottish Government. Even those employed by the SFA inside Hampden Park and elsewhere.
Whatever your job is, whether you have a job or not if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive you have to self-isolate. Simple really.
If anyone employed by the SFA was in any doubt about that they could contact Ryan Christie or Steve Clarke. In October Christie was forced to self-isolate after being identified as a close contact of Stuart Armstrong who tested positive.
Last week David Roome tested positive. Over the previous couple of days he had shared four flights and a referee changing room with Stewart and Madden.
At some stage during Wednesday, Thursday or Friday the SFA should have removed Madden and Stewart from weekend fixtures. They didn’t. The two officials knew that Roome had tested positive, as close contacts they had to self-isolate. They didn’t.
On Saturday Stewart broke self-isolation to travel to Edinburgh, on Sunday Madden was heading to Dingwall until enquiries from The Sun brought his appointment to a halt.
Tonight, BBC Scotland reported:
The SFA are investigating and apologised to Hibs and Hamilton the day after Saturday’s match. Madden was withdrawn from Ross County’s win over Celtic on Sunday evening.
Allan (SFA Head of Refereeing, Crawford) was made aware of the positive test for Stewart on Wednesday and made the decision to appoint the assistant referee to the game at Easter Road given that all Uefa protocols had been adhered to.
However, he did not factor in the differences between Uefa and Scottish government protocols in relation to close contact identification.
NB The positive test was Roome, not Stewart.
Clearly Allan had forgotten all about the Christie incident in October, no one else at the SFA picked up on it until they were contacted by The Sun.
It would seem incredible if Madden or Stewart are ever again appointed to a football match when they are prepared to break Self-Isolating and the Law of the Land in order to pick up a match fee.