Scots rapped over 'too slow' ball boys

November 19, 2006

GLASGOW, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Scotland have been reprimanded by UEFA over the speed of their ball boys when they beat France 1-0 in their Euro 2008 qualifier last month.

Scottish FA chief executive David Taylor said the sanction was 'the most bizarre thing' he had encountered during his tenure, but promised to speed up the ball boys' response.

France coach Raymond Domenech complained about the slow return of the ball after their Group B defeat at Hampden on Oct. 7 and said it had disrupted their pattern of play.

'It surprised us to be charged with such an offence,' Taylor said. 'It's the most bizarre thing I've encountered with Scotland. We brief the ball boys during the game.'

He added: 'We'll need to make sure before the next game, which is against Georgia at home in March, even if we're 1-0 up with five minutes to go, even if the players are saying 'do you have to give the ball back so quickly?' that they do it.'

Scotland won with a 67th minute Gary Caldwell goal. Taylor said: 'Our ball boys failed to deliver the ball back after the goal. It was strange to end up with a disciplinary charge against us for it.'

He added: 'It was in the referee's report and in the match delegate's report. The referee said the ball was not returned to play quickly enough.

'We contested that because we didn't feel it was proper. The happy ending is we got off with a warning.'