Craig Thomson to referee final Old Firm game

Craig Thomson shows Nikica Jelavic a yellow card
Thomson booked Jelavic (second left) for diving in the League Cup final

Craig Thomson will take charge of his second consecutive Old Firm game this weekend when Rangers host Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.

The referee was the centre of controversy at the Co-operative Insurance Cup final on 20 March.

He pointed to the spot after Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic went down under a challenge from Celtic's Thomas Rogne.

However, he apparently changed his mind and booked the Croatian international striker for diving.

Jelavic later netted the winner as Rangers secured a 2-1 win, but manager Walter Smith highlighted the "very strange" and "very dangerous" decision after the match.

However, the match proved to be far less controversial than their previous encounter in a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.

Referee Calum Murray showed three red cards to Rangers players, while assistant manager Ally McCoist and Celtic manager Neil Lennon were reported for a touchline confrontation during the Parkhead side's 1-0 win.

Thomson also took charge of a controversy-free new year's derby, which Celtic won 2-0 at Ibrox to re-ignite their title challenge.

Smith, though, has also previously criticised one of Thomson's assistants for Sunday's Ibrox clash, Tom Murphy.

The Rangers manager felt Murphy had made a "poor decision" in disallowing a Kris Boyd goal in a 0-0 draw at Motherwell in November 2008 and referred to a controversial goal Celtic striker Scott McDonald netted against his club the previous season.

Sunday's game could go a long way to deciding the destination of the Scottish title.

Holders Rangers have a two-point lead going into Tuesday's game away to Dundee United.

Celtic, who have a game in hand, are away to Kilmarnock 24 hours later.

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