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Rangers’ Lee McCulloch red card upheld as Hearts’ Ryan McGowan faces two-game ban

Published on Friday 6 January 2012 01:40

RANGERS midfielder Lee McCulloch will serve a two-match ban with immediate effect after losing his appeal against a red card for violent conduct, while Hearts player Ryan McGowan has been offered a two-game suspension by the SFA for his involvement in a clash with Ivan Sproule in Monday’s Edinburgh derby

McCulloch was dismissed following an incident with Graham Carey in the 2-1 defeat to St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Christmas Eve. His claim of wrongful dismissal was thrown out by the Scottish Football Association’s fast track tribunal following a hearing yesterday.

The SFA could have imposed more severe sanctions had they deemed the appeal to be “frivolous” but the player has escaped a further one-match suspension.

The club’s appeal allowed McCulloch to play in the Old Firm derby on 28 December, a game which Rangers lost 1-0 to lose their position at the top of the SPL.

McCulloch is now banned for Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Arbroath and the SPL meeting with St Johnstone the following week.

He was set to miss the weekend trip to Gayfield in any case after a knock sidelined him for Monday’s win over Motherwell, before sitting out training with a heavy cold yesterday.

Manager Ally McCoist was unhappy with referee Steve McLean’s decision to show a straight red card to McCulloch and felt the incident changed the game.

Speaking after the match, the Rangers manager said: “I’ve seen it once and I would have to say it was extremely harsh. I’ve had a good chat with Lee McCulloch and he assures me there was no malice at all and he was just trying to fend the boy off. The boy actually had an arm around his waist.

“I’m a wee bit disappointed with how the boy went down to be honest with you and no physio came on to my knowledge. It changed the game, there is no doubt about it, and we are disappointed with it.”

Meanwhile, left-back McGowan has been offered a two-match ban following his clash with Hibernian winger Ivan Sproule during his side’s 3-1 victory at Easter Road.

The SFA’s compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, instigated a notice of complaint for violent conduct after studying footage of McGowan’s reaction to a foul by Sproule during the match.

The Australian’s head made contact with Sproule’s stomach as he got up quickly off the ground to confront the Hibs player.

Hearts have until 3pm today to respond to the notice. If they accept the ban, McGowan will miss tomorrow’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie with Auchinleck Talbot and a Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Mirren at Tynecastle. If the club decide to challenge the punishment, a fast-track hearing is likely to take place next Thursday.

No action has been taken against Hearts midfielder Ian Black, who lifted his strip at the end of the match to display a T-shirt with the slogan ‘I’ll paint this place maroon’. Similarly, Celtic’s Emilio Izaguirre also seems to have escaped punishment.

The Honduran, who made his return from a lengthy injury lay-off in his side’s victory over Dunfermline, displayed a T-shirt saying: ‘Thanks God for healing me’.

Taken from the Scotsman

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