The Scottish Football Association hope one of the most turbulent weeks in their history ends with a full quota of top-flight action after the continuing crisis over referees deepened further on Friday night.

Fears escalated that all six Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixtures would not be fulfilled after Portuguese referees joined their Polish colleagues in reneging on a promise to replace striking Scottish officials.

And the SFA then appeared to lose their head of referees development as reports emerged that Hugh Dallas had tendered his resignation to chief executive Stewart Regan.

Speculation lingered that Israeli referees would also back out of plans to cover some of the eight fixtures which remained on as Friday came to a close, after apparently being unaware their Scottish colleagues had cited safety fears as justification for withdrawing their labour.

And mystery surrounded the whereabouts of experienced Luxembourg referee Alain Hamer, who was scheduled to take charge of games involving both Old Firm teams, when he failed to appear as anticipated at Glasgow Airport.

News of Dallas' departure came amid a disciplinary probe into reports that a controversial email referring to the Pope's visit to Scotland had been forwarded via the governing body's official email system.

"Stewart Regan has interviewed a number of people at Hampden," SFA president George Peat told BBC Scotland on Friday night.

"I have not been in there. I stayed away from there because, if he has dismissed anyone, any appeal from people who have been dismissed would come to me. I don't know if people have gone or not - that is possible.

"Some people have phoned me and told me that five have left, but I don't know how many have gone and who they might be. I don't want to get involved."

The six top-flight matches plus Beith's Scottish Cup replay against Airdrie and the ALBA Challenge Cup final between Queen of the South and Ross County now depend on referees from Israel, Malta and Luxembourg carrying through their promise of help.

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