Craig Thomson to referee Edinburgh derby in Scottish Cup Final 2012



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 



Thomson (pictured) further adds to his refereeing set of major showpieces in Scotland with another Scottish Cup Final appointment

Craig Thomson will be the man in the middle for the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park between rivals Hearts and Hibernian later this month, the Scottish Football Association have confirmed.

The 39-year old Category One official, who has been an SPL referee since 2002, will oversee the William Hill Scottish Cup finale as Edinburgh giants Hearts and Hibernian lock horn for the first time at this stage of the famous competition. This will be the second time he takes charge of this final having took charge of Rangers' 1-0 victory over Falkirk in 2009 while he also officiated last season's Scottish Communities League Cup Final between Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers.

Thomson has already been in the middle for two of the sides' three meetings in the league this season both taking place at Tynecastle in August and March which Hearts on both occasions won 2-0. In addition, Craig also oversaw a 2-0 home league victory for Hearts over SPL champions Celtic in October, Hibernian's 1-0 loss to Dunfermline in November, Hearts' 2-1 win over Inverness CT later that month, Hibs' 1-0 defeat at Aberdeen in December, Hearts' 1-1 draw with St Johnstone in February, Hibernian's 5-0 defeat at the hands of Celtic. He has refereed 35 matches so far this campaign in all competitions brandishing a total of 132 yellow cards and 9 red cards.

Craig's decision making was brought under scrutiny during the Hearts-Hibernian clash in August in which a Michael Hart challenge on David Templeton in front of the dugouts was punished with a yellow card rather than red which infuriated then boss Jim Jeffries who felt a red card would have sufficed.

His last SPL match to date also involved Hibernian- who beat Aberdeen in the semi to reach their first ever Scottish Cup final- in their 1-0 reverse at Easter Road against League Cup winners Kilmarnock on 22nd April. Paulo Sergio's Hearts knocked out holders Celtic in a thrilling semi-final ending last month thanks to a last minute Craig Beattie penalty. The Paisley lawyer was due to referee last month's final SPL Old Firm derby of the season however withdrew because of family reasons and was replaced by Calum Murray.

A FIFA and UEFA member since 2003, Thomson will be travelling to the Euro 2012 tournament this summer in Poland and Ukraine having been selected as one of the twelve European referees to take part. He is highly regarded as being one of the best and most experienced mainstays in Scottish refereeing and across the world having been part of high-profile games such as Champions League last 16 games, Europa League semi-finals and World Cup qualifying matches.

Craig will be assisted on the day by his two Euro 2012 assistant referees Derek Rose and Alasdair Ross while Willie Collum, who has previously had two trips to Hampden Park as a referee this season and will be an additional assistant referee in Poland & Ukraine, is the fourth official.

The match itself will kick-off at 3pm on Saturday 19th May 2012 from Hampden Park which will be broadcasted live on Sky Sports 4 and HD4 as well as BBC Scotland with high definition viewing available.


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