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By ESPN Staff

SFA chief alarmed over Scotland ball-boy rap

Scottish Football Association chief executive David Taylor admits he has been left stunned by a UEFA warning over the conduct of Hampden Park ball-boys.

The European governing body upheld a complaint by France coach Raymond Domenech, who voiced concern at the length of time the ball was out of play after Celtic defender Gary Caldwell had scored the only goal of the game in the Euro 2008 qualifier last month. Tay

lor said: 'Our ball-boys failed to deliver the ball back after the goal. 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. It was strange to end up with a disciplinary charge against us for it.

'If anything, we err on the side of being sporting and it surprised us to be charged with such an offence. It's the most bizarre thing I've encountered with Scotland.

'We brief the ball-boys during the game. They are Queen's Park's youth players.

'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.'