Hugh Dallas

Hugh Dallas
MBE 22
Full name Hugh Dallas
Born (1957-10-26) 26 October 1957 (age 64)
Allanton, Scotland
Years League Role
1983–1990 SJFA Referee
1990–2005 SPL and SFL Referee
Years League Role
1992–2002 FIFA listed Referee

Hugh Dallas MBE (born 26 October 1957) is a Scottish former football referee. He officiated at two FIFA World Cup tournaments, in 1998 and 2002; he was appointed fourth official for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final. Dallas also officiated at the 1996 Olympic Games, the 1999 UEFA Cup Final and several UEFA Champions League matches.

From June 2009 until November 2010, Dallas was the SFA's Referee Development Officer.[1] He is a UEFA Referee Officer.[2]

Refereeing career

Dallas was born in Allanton, near Shotts.

He refereed his first amateur match in 1982 between Motherwell Bridgeworks and Victoria AFC.[3]

His first foreign engagement came in 1988 when he was a linesman at a Cup Winners' Cup tie between Sampdoria and Carl Zeiss Jena.[3] While running the line at the 1993 Toulon Tournament, Dallas stopped a match between Czechoslovakia and Portugal after spotting a serious injury to Czech player Martin Svedik. Dallas was credited with saving the player's life and thanked by Ivan Kopecky, the coach of the Czech team, for his intervention.[4]

Early in his career, Dallas took the advice of Brian McGinlay and began to referee international matches in a different way to those in Scotland.[3] Dallas contends that foreign players dive more than their Scottish counterparts[3] and that the diving of foreign players who enter Scottish football is reduced by Scottish match officials.[3]

Dallas was one of 12 referees selected to officiate at the 1996 Summer Olympics in the USA. During the tournament Dallas was the referee at three group matches.[5][6]

In June 1997, Dallas refereed an important 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification match between Spain and the Czech Republic. Early in the second half, Alfonso Pérez fell over in the Czech penalty area at least two metres away from Czech goalkeeper Pavel Srníček, but Dallas awarded a penalty kick to Spain.[7] In 2003, Dallas rated the mistake as the worst of his career.[7] Dallas admitted to embarrassment and guilt after the match, as the penalty kick proved decisive in giving a 1–0 win to Spain.[7] Their defeat cost the Czech Republic any chance of qualifying for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.[7]

UEFA offered Dallas police protection[8] after he awarded Italy a late penalty in their 2–1 win over Turkey at Euro 2000.[9][10] Dallas' former colleague Brian McGinlay said that the penalty decision was wrong, but nevertheless claimed Dallas was "the best referee in Britain."[11] Dallas was the fourth official in the semi–final match between France and Portugal.[12] Dallas was not disappointed to miss the final as he "never imagined that the final was a possibility.'[13] During the routine review of matches, Dallas' performance in the early matches was given the equivalent of a gold star by UEFA committee member Ken Ridden.[14] The committee were also impressed by his man management skills.[14]

Dallas presided over AC Milan's exit from the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League, in a 1–1 draw at the San Siro.[15] The crowd pelted Dallas with missiles including coins, fruit, bottles and cigarette lighters[16][17] as he left the field under police protection.[18]

Celtic v Rangers 1999

In May 1999, Dallas presided over an important Old Firm fixture. Celtic needed to beat Rangers in this match to prevent them winning the Scottish Premier League championship at Celtic Park.[19] The match was given a Sunday evening kick-off for reasons of live Sky Sports television coverage.

The match had a frenzied start, with Dallas penalising two fouls within the first minute.[20] Play was later stopped for several minutes while Dallas received treatment after being hit on the head by a coin thrown by a Celtic supporter.[21] Over the course of the match at least four Celtic fans invaded the field of play to confront Dallas, while another Celtic fan fell from an upper section of terracing and was taken to hospital.[20] Rangers won the match 3–0 and therefore the league championship.[20]

Later that evening, a brick was thrown through a window in Dallas' home.[22] A behavioural psychologist was hired by Celtic to investigate Dallas, with the report largely supported Dallas' performance and instead blamed the behaviour of players.[23] Since the events of that day, Old Firm league matches have normally been played in the early afternoon and the possibility of an Old Firm title decider has been deliberately avoided.[24]

1998 FIFA World Cup

The first match at the 1998 FIFA World Cup for Dallas was a 2–2 draw between Mexico and Belgium. He sent off Pavel Pardo and Gert Verheyen during the match.[25] Dallas was also the referee for the quarter final match between Italy and France. More than a decade later, Dallas admitted to surprise and disappointment at being overlooked for the later stages of the competition.[26]

2002 FIFA World Cup

During the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament, Portugal objected to Dallas' selection for their group-stage game with Poland, referring to their experience with Dallas during UEFA Euro 2000.[27] Portugal went on to win the match 4–0.

Dallas refereed the quarter–final between the USA and Germany. Early in the second half, he declined to award a penalty kick to the USA after a shot by Gregg Berhalter was blocked on the goalline by the outstretched arm of defender Torsten Frings. Dallas defended his decision on the grounds that Frings did not intend to handle the ball, commenting "If it's not intentional it's not a foul, no matter where it is."[28] In the same match Dallas cautioned Oliver Neuville for a foul committed by his teammate Jens Jeremies, having mistaken their identities.[29] Dallas had the backing of his refereeing inspector over the incident,[30] although FIFA remarked upon their "concern [at] one or two major mistakes."[28]

Dallas was selected as fourth official for the Final between Brazil and Germany.[31] According to Dallas, the Brazilian players insisted he join them following their celebratory team huddle dance around the World Cup trophy.[31]

Head of Referee Development

Dallas retired as a match referee at the end of the 2004–05 Scottish football season, a year earlier than the mandatory retirement age.[32] He then acted as a referee observer for the Scottish Premier League and was appointed to the UEFA Referees' Committee. Dallas was also appointed to a new Referee Certification Panel, one of two panels introduced in connection with UEFA's Referee Convention, while he continued his role as a UEFA referee observer.

Dallas was appointed Head of Referee Development by the Scottish Football Association in 2009.[1] He was soon involved in a public dispute with Motherwell manager Jim Gannon over refereeing decisions.[33][34] In February 2010, Dallas expressed disappointment at refereeing standards in the SPL, after several high-profile refereeing errors were made in a short period of time.[35]

In November 2010, assistant referee Steven Craven accused Dallas of exerting pressure on him to support referee Dougie McDonald, who had lied about a disallowed penalty incident in a match at Tannadice Park. Dallas himself had initially publicly repeated McDonald's false version of events[36] but denied allegations of "bullying and harassment". Dallas was supported personally by the SFA, though the body promised an overhaul of referee discipline.[37]

Later in November 2010, Dallas faced an inquiry after it emerged that he had allegedly sent what has been described as a sectarian[38] and offensive[39] email referring to the Pope from his SFA email account.[40] After journalist Phil Mac Giolla Bhain had broken the story,[41] the SFA issued a statement on 10 November stating that an investigation would be carried out.[42] On 24 November, the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland wrote to the SFA demanding that they remove Dallas from his position if the allegation was proved.[42] Dallas was sacked by the SFA on 26 November, after chief executive Stewart Regan had concluded the investigation into the allegations.[43] Four other SFA employees were also sacked; three of whom were later reinstated. Dallas planned to sue the SFA for unfair dismissal, but the case was settled before it reached court.[44]

After Dallas was sacked there was concern from referees in Scotland that standards of officiating could drop.[45] Fifa listed Scottish referee Craig Thomson said, "I see him as a world-class individual within Scottish football, There is a lot of work behind the scenes that I'm hoping won't be lost."[45] Referee John McKendrick said, "It's certainly a major blow for Scottish refereeing, At the peak of his game, there are very few figures in Scottish football who have been at the level Hugh Dallas was at."[45]

In August 2014, he was appointed Chief Refereeing Officer in Superleague Greece. In November 2014, he criticised the arbitration of Ilias Spathas (one of the many refs involved in the 2015 Greek football scandal), after a match of Olympiakos, as the "worst he has ever seen" saying that the mistakes were not normal.[46][47] A few days later he quit from being responsible for the appointments of refereeing officials for Super League and Football League matches.[48][49]

Outside football

Dallas was the managing director of his own window and construction company, until it went into receivership in 2002.[50]

Dallas was appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2003 New Year Honours for services to football.[51][52]

As discovered by TV show Fantasy Football League, Dallas was once a contestant on Family Fortunes.[53] Dallas has also worked as an after-dinner speaker.[citation needed]

His son Andrew is also a referee.[26]

Dallas replaced Pierluigi Collina at Soccer Aid 2008, after Collina was injured.[54]

Scottish band Mogwai named a song after Dallas which was included in the 2014 re-release of Come On Die Young


  1. ^ a b "Dallas appointed as SFA's Head of Referee Development". 13 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Referee observers' vital role". UEFA (Press release). 21 February 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hugh Dallas (16 March 2003). "From Motherwell bridgeworks to a world cup final". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Scot helped save Czech player". The Herald. 14 June 1993. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Spain – Australia". FIFA. Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  6. ^ "USA – Tunisia". FIFA. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Hugh Dallas (16 March 2003). "Sinking feeling hit home after TV angle revealed diving ploy". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  8. ^ "Celts boss says Hugh made a big mistake". Daily Record. 12 June 2000. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Inzaghi grateful for lucky break". BBC. 11 June 2000. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Furious Turkish fans rain missiles on ref Dallas; EURO 2000". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 12 June 2000. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Football Euro 2000: JUST SHUT IT BIG MOUTH; McGinlay slams Thomas over his Dallas dig-ups". Daily Record. 13 June 2000. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Soccer Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Fixtures, Results, Tables - ESPN".
  13. ^ "Dallas Passed Over For Final Ties". Scottish Daily Record. 27 June 2000.
  14. ^ a b Gibbons, Glenn (23 June 2000). "Dallas hot favourite for final". The Scotsman. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  15. ^ Rob Hughes (15 March 2001). "Paris-Saint Germain Sorts Out Fans' Violence : Once the Powerhouse, Italy Is an Also-Ran". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  16. ^ Kenny Ross (15 March 2001). "Football: RINO: HUGH PUT US OUT OF EUROPE". The Mirror. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  17. ^ David McCarthy (15 March 2001). "Football: Hugh: I was pelted with fag lighters". Daily Record. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  18. ^ Massimo Marzocchi (14 March 2001). "Dallas faces wrath of AC Milan supporters". The Scotsman.
  19. ^ Kevin McCarra (3 May 1999). "Three sent off as Rangers clinch title". The Times.
  20. ^ a b c "Rangers make history out of chaos". BBC. 3 May 1999. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  21. ^ Hugh Dallas (9 March 2003). "Sticking the whistle in my pocket and walking off". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  22. ^ "Blood, guts and whistles". The Press and Journal. 11 December 2008. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  23. ^ Hugh Keevins (6 February 2000). "BONKERS!; Celts stars accused in dossier by mind doc". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  24. ^ Drysdale, Neil (14 April 2010). "Old Firm derby reduced to a mere sideshow? Only in Scotland". STV. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  25. ^ Hugh Keevins (21 June 1998). "Whistler Dallas in red card storm". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  26. ^ a b "Blood, guts and whistles". Press and Journal. 11 December 2008. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  27. ^ "Dallas angers Portugal". BBC News. 30 May 2002. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  28. ^ a b Crilly, Rob (24 June 2002). "World Cup call for Europeans in referees row". The Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  29. ^ Euan McLean (23 June 2002). "Football: Kaiser: German duds deserve to be punched". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  30. ^ "Dallas stands firm". BBC News. 23 June 2002. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  31. ^ a b "Samba stars pulled me into huddle to join victory party". Evening Times. 7 June 2010. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  32. ^ Anderson, Barry (21 April 2005). "Dallas: Penalty abuse did not make me quit". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  33. ^ "Scottish referees' chief fires back at Jim Gannon". BBC. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  34. ^ "Dallas defends response to Gannon". BBC News. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  35. ^ "Disappointing season for SPL referees, says Hugh Dallas". BBC. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  36. ^ "Dougie McDonald penalty saga exposes need for SFA transparency". The Guardian. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  37. ^ "Scottish FA promises overhaul of referee discipline". BBC. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  38. ^ "SFA DEAL WITH DALLAS "INTERNALLY"". The Daily Express. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  39. ^ "SPL – SFA chief investigates 'Pope' email slur". 10 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  40. ^ "Referee's chief Hugh Dallas faces probe over Pope email slur". Daily Record. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  41. ^ Phil Mac Giolla Bhain (6 December 2010). "How a print freelancer broke a football scoop online". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  42. ^ a b "Catholic Church calls for Dallas email transparency". BBC Sport. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  43. ^ Lewis, Jane and Spence, Jim (27 November 2010). "Referees' chief Hugh Dallas is sacked by the SFA". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 November 2010.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  44. ^ "Hugh Dallas settles 'Pope e-mail' case against SFA". BBC News. BBC. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  45. ^ a b c "Thomson and McKendrick fret over impact of Dallas exit". BBC News. BBC. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  46. ^ "Τα έψαλε ο Ντάλας σε Σπάθα και Κοντιζά".
  47. ^ "Ντάλας σε Σπάθα: "Δεν μπορώ να πιστέψω ότι είναι απλά λάθη"".
  48. ^ "Hugh Dallas steps down from refereeing role in Greece". The Herald. Newsquest. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  49. ^ "Weekly News: Hugh Dallas quits as Greek Referee Officer following Attacks on colleague - The 3rd Team".
  50. ^ Ian McConnell (5 June 2002). "Early bath for Hugh Dallas George Wilson receiver has no place on team for referee". The Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  51. ^ "Lawrences among New Year honours supporters". BBC. 31 December 2002. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  52. ^ "No. 56797". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2002. p. 15.
  53. ^ "Family Fortunes, S06e17". YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  54. ^ "Gordon Ramsay limps out of Soccer Aid clash after picking up injury". Daily Record. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2016.

External links

  • Article by Dallas on refereeing Old Firm matches
Preceded by UEFA Cup Final Referees
Final 1999
Scotland Hugh Dallas
Succeeded by