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Hugh Dallas

Hugh Dallas
Full name Hugh Dallas
Born (1957-10-26) 26 October 1957
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 in Allanton, near Shotts) 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 1
    • Early career 1.1
    • 1996 Summer Olympics 1.2
    • 1998 FIFA World Cup 1.3
    • Celtic v Rangers, May 1999 1.4
    • UEFA Euro 2000 1.5
    • AC Milan v Deportivo de La Coruña March 2001 1.6
    • 2002 FIFA World Cup 1.7
  • Head of Referee Development 2
  • Outside football 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Refereeing career

Early career

Dallas 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]

1996 Summer Olympics

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]

1998 FIFA World Cup

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]

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, decisions which divided opinion.[8] Martin O'Neill and Alan Hansen criticised Dallas, but Trevor Steven thought he performed well.[8][9][10] 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.[11]

Celtic v Rangers, May 1999

In May 1999, Dallas presided over an important Old Firm fixture. Celtic needed to beat Rangers in this match to prevent their rivals winning the Scottish Premier League championship at Celtic Park.[12] The match was given a Sunday evening kick-off for reasons of live Sky Sports television coverage.

It began in a frenzied atmosphere, with Dallas penalising two fouls within the first minute.[13] There were several flashpoints both during and after the game. This included an incident in which Dallas was hit on the head by a coin thrown by a Celtic supporter.[14] The match was stopped for several minutes while Dallas received treatment for a resulting head wound. Dallas sent off three players (two Celtic, one Rangers) and awarded a penalty kick to Rangers.[13] Over the course of the match at least four Celtic fans invaded the field of play to confront Dallas, while a Celtic fan fell from an upper section of terracing and was taken to hospital.[13] Rangers won the match 3–0 and therefore won the league championship.[13]

Later that evening, a brick was thrown through a window in Dallas' home.[15] A behavioural psychologist was hired by Celtic to investigate his behaviour during the match.[16] Celtic chief executive Allan MacDonald claimed the report criticised Dallas for making friendly gestures towards Rangers players.[16] However the report largely supported Dallas' performance in the match, and blamed the behaviour of players instead.[16] 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.[17][18]

UEFA Euro 2000

[20][21] The Sabah newspaper termed Dallas "the ref of nightmares" the following day[22] and Clive Thomas suggested Dallas' performance was marked by a lack of courage and an inability to keep up with play.[23] Dallas' former colleague Brian McGinlay agreed that the penalty decision was wrong, but nevertheless claimed Dallas was "the best referee in Britain."[23]

After refereeing another group game in which he was criticised,[24] Dallas was reduced to a fourth official role in the semi–final match between France and Portugal.[25] UEFA's decision to overlook Dallas for the final stages was met with disappointment in the Scottish newspaper media,[26] since they had hoped that he would be in charge of at least one of the semi-final matches.[27][28] Dallas in response to this said; 'I wouldn't say that I was disappointed because I never imagined that the final was a possibility.'[29] In spite of events at the tournament, Dallas' stated "There have been 28 games so far and very little controversy with regards the decisions that have been made".[26]

During the routine review of matches, which highlights correct decisions as well as errors, Dallas' performance in the early matches was given the equivalent of a gold star by UEFA committee member Ken Ridden.[30] The committee were also impressed by his man management skills.[30]

AC Milan v Deportivo de La Coruña March 2001

Dallas presided over AC Milan's exit from the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League, in a 1–1 draw at the San Siro which The New York Times described as "a game of two dubious penalties."[31] A sequence of controversial decisions saw the crowd pelt Dallas with missiles including coins, fruit, bottles and cigarette lighters[32][33] as he left the field under police protection.[34][35]

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.[36] 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. After what was described as the "refereeing oversight,"[37] German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn admitted "we were lucky."[37] 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."[38] In the same match Dallas cautioned Oliver Neuville for a foul committed by his teammate Jens Jeremies, having mistaken their identities.[39] Although Dallas attested to the backing of his refereeing inspector over the incidents,[40] FIFA remarked upon their "concern [at] one or two major mistakes."[38] Pele described the general standard of refereeing at the tournament as "very, very poor."[41]

Dallas was selected as fourth official for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final between Brazil and Germany.[42] According to Dallas, the Brazilian players insisted he join them following their celebratory team huddle dance around the World Cup trophy.[42]

Writing in 2010, Graham Poll paid tribute to Dallas, describing him as "a superb referee who was respected throughout the world of football".[43]

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.[44] 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.[45][46] In February 2010, Dallas expressed disappointment at refereeing standards in the SPL, after several high-profile refereeing errors were made in a short space of time.[47]

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.[48] Dallas himself had initially publicly repeated McDonald's false version of events[49] but denied allegations of "bullying and harassment". Dallas was supported personally by the SFA, though the body promised an overhaul of referee discipline.[50]

Later in November 2010, Dallas faced an inquiry after it emerged that he had allegedly sent what has been described as a sectarian[51] and offensive[52] email referring to the Pope from his SFA email account.[53] After journalist Phil Mac Giolla Bhain had broken the story,[54] the SFA issued a statement on 10 November stating that an investigation would be carried out.[55] 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.[55] Dallas was sacked by the SFA on 26 November, after chief executive Stewart Regan had concluded the investigation into the allegations.[56] 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.[57]

After Dallas was sacked there was concern from referees in Scotland that standards of officiating could drop.[58] 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."[58] 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."[58]

In August 2014, he was appointed Chief Refereeing Officer in Superleague Greece. In November 2014, he criticised the arbitration of Ilias Spathas, after a match of Olympiacos, as the "worst he has ever seen" saying that the mistakes were not normal.[59][60] A few days later he quit from being responsible for the appointments of refereeing officials for Super League and Football League matches.[61][62]

Outside football

Dallas was the managing director of his own window and construction company, until it went into receivership in 2002.[63] In December 2002, Dallas was awarded an MBE for his services to football.[64]

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

His son Andrew is also a referee.[11]

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


  1. ^ a b "Dallas appointed as SFA's Head of Referee Development". 13 June 2009. 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. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "USA – Tunisia". FIFA. 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. ^ a b Hugh Keevins (21 June 1998). "Whistler Dallas in red card storm". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Simon Pia (22 June 1998). "Referees ride rash challenges". The Scotsman. Retrieved 5 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Simon Pia (22 June 1998). "BELGIUM MANAGER BACKS DALLAS". The Scotsman. p. 23. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Blood, guts and whistles". Press and Journal. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  12. ^ Kevin McCarra (3 May 1999). "Three sent off as Rangers clinch title". The Times. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Rangers make history out of chaos". BBC. 3 May 1999. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  14. ^ Hugh Dallas (9 March 2003). "Sticking the whistle in my pocket and walking off". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Blood, guts and whistles". The Press and Journal. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Hugh Keevins (6 February 2000). "BONKERS!; Celts stars accused in dossier by mind doc". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  17. ^ MacKay, Ronnie (10 April 2010). "Old Firm date is set to avoid title trouble".  
  18. ^ Drysdale, Neil (14 April 2010). "Old Firm derby reduced to a mere sideshow? Only in Scotland".  
  19. ^ "Celts boss says Hugh made a big mistake". Daily Record. 12 June 2000. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  20. ^ "Inzaghi grateful for lucky break". BBC. 11 June 2000. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  21. ^ "Furious Turkish fans rain missiles on ref Dallas; EURO 2000". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 12 June 2000. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  23. ^ a b "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. 
  24. ^ Peter Lansley (19 June 2000). "Football: Dallas feels Semb fury as Yugoslavs rule". The Independent. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  25. ^ Brian Scott (30 June 2000). "Dallas' helping hand to golden Slovak". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  26. ^ a b Keith Jackson (27 June 2000). "EURO 2000 FOOTBALL: Dallas is passed over for final ties". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  27. ^ Keith Jackson (23 June 2000). "FOOTBALL: Dallas in line to handle Euro 2000 final". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  28. ^ Glenn Gibbons (23 June 2000). "Dallas hot favourite for final". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  29. ^ "Dallas Passed Over For Final Ties". Scottish Daily Record. 27 June 2000.
  30. ^ a b Gibbons, Glenn (23 June 2000). "Dallas hot favourite for final".  
  31. ^ 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. 
  32. ^ Kenny Ross (15 March 2001). "Football: RINO: HUGH PUT US OUT OF EUROPE". The Mirror. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  33. ^ David McCarthy (15 March 2001). "Football: Hugh: I was pelted with fag lighters". Daily Record. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  34. ^ Jeff Powell (14 March 2001). "Ref under fire". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  35. ^ Massimo Marzocchi (14 March 2001). "Dallas faces wrath of AC Milan supporters". The Scotsman. 
  36. ^ "Dallas angers Portugal". BBC. 30 May 2002. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  37. ^ a b Ian Ladyman (24 June 2002). "Kahn says Germany will be victims of bad calls". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  38. ^ a b Rob Crilly (24 June 2002). "World Cup call for Europeans in referees row". The Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  39. ^ Euan McLean (23 June 2002). "Football: Kaiser: German duds deserve to be punched". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  40. ^ "Dallas stands firm". BBC. 23 June 2002. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  41. ^ Dominic Fifield (22 June 2002). "World Cup : Goalline handball keeps spotlight on referees". The Guardian. 
  42. ^ a b "Samba stars pulled me into huddle to join victory party". Evening Times. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  43. ^  
  44. ^ Anderson, Barry (21 April 2005). "Dallas: Penalty abuse did not make me quit".  
  45. ^ "Scottish referees' chief fires back at Jim Gannon". BBC. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  46. ^ "Dallas defends response to Gannon". BBC News. 30 November 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  47. ^ "Disappointing season for SPL referees, says Hugh Dallas". BBC. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 
  48. ^ "Referees chief Hugh Dallas ponders next move in Tannadice cover-up row". Daily Mail. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  49. ^ "Dougie McDonald penalty saga exposes need for SFA transparency". The Guardian. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  50. ^ "Scottish FA promises overhaul of referee discipline". BBC. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  51. ^ """SFA DEAL WITH DALLAS "INTERNALLY. The Daily Express. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  52. ^ "SPL – SFA chief investigates 'Pope' email slur". 10 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  53. ^ "Referee's chief Hugh Dallas faces probe over Pope email slur".  
  54. ^ Phil Mac Giolla Bhain (6 December 2010). "How a print freelancer broke a football scoop online".  
  55. ^ a b "Catholic Church calls for Dallas email transparency".  
  56. ^ Lewis, Jane and  
  57. ^ "Hugh Dallas settles 'Pope e-mail' case against SFA". BBC News (BBC). 25 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  58. ^ a b c "Thomson and McKendrick fret over impact of Dallas exit". BBC News (BBC). 27 November 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  59. ^ Τα έψαλε ο Ντάλας
  60. ^ Δεν μπορώ να πιστέψω ότι είναι απλά λάθη
  61. ^ "Hugh Dallas steps down from refereeing role in Greece".  
  62. ^ Hugh Dallas quits
  63. ^ 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. 
  64. ^ "Lawrences among New Year honours supporters". BBC. 31 December 2002. Retrieved 29 June 2010. 

External links

  • Article by Dallas on refereeing Old Firm matches
Preceded by
UEFA Cup Final 1998
Antonio López Nieto
UEFA Cup Final Referees
Final 1999
Hugh Dallas
Succeeded by
UEFA Cup Final 2000
Antonio López Nieto
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