Gordon Smith, the Scottish FA chief resigned out of the blue two months shy of completing three years.
It seems a combination of personal reasons and a particularly sticky case of overstepping his authority in the Robbie Winters “diving” case caused him to tender his resignation.
His resignation comes days before a review of the way Scottish football is being run which some say would have been quite critical. There are also indications that Smith was increasingly frustrated by the way FIFA blocked the use of technology in the game.
Smith became known to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal as the man who went after Eduardo after the Croatian was alleged to have dived in the Champions League qualifiers against Celtic. Smith had this to say:
“Eduardo showed disrespect to the game by his actions,” he said.
“We have shown courage to use retrospective punishment when it comes to simulation. I’d urge Uefa to do so.”
His efforts prompted UEFA to come down heavily against Eduardo charging him with diving. It set off Wenger who accused the Scots of conducting a “witch hunt” against his player.
He said: “There is completely lack of logic in this case. Why? Because people have reacted emotionally.
“This case has been ruled by the media and emotionally by Scotland, by the Scottish FA and by Scottish people working at Uefa.”
Eduardo was banned for two matches by UEFA’s disciplinary committee but the decision was reversed on further review.
As this article points out, Smith’s personal vendetta against simulation seemed at odd with the scarcity of such incidents in the Scottish game. So it is ironic that a “diving” case tripped him up in the end.