Football: Mahe able to accept guilt over red card

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The Independent Online
STEPHANE MAHE has spoken at length for the first time since being sent off in the Old Firm game on 2 May. The Celtic defender was the first of three players to be sent off, along with his team-mate Vidar Riseth and Rangers' Rod Wallace.

In the aftermath of Mahe's red card, the referee, Hugh Dallas, was struck by a missile and needed four stitches in a head wound. Four fans encroached on to the pitch in separate incidents before Rangers clinched the Premier League title.

Mahe and Riseth were both forced to make a brief public apology through the club last week. But n the club's official newspaper, Celtic View, yesterday Mahe said: "I am a passionate and emotional man. Thankfully I am also objective enough to see that I was wrong.

"I have received many letters from people saying they are behind me. Normally I receive nothing but this week I've received so many cards that I love Celtic and the fans.

"What I did was seen by young people, and I accept the blame for my behaviour now. What made it worse was that my family saw a little bit on television of me being sent off."

Mahe may return for the match against Aberdeen this weekend.

Rod Wallace's attitude to his dismissal was rather different. The Rangers striker was sent off for raising his arms at Riseth. He said: "I was reacting to his challenge and that was stupid, but all I expected was a yellow card. After all, you could see I didn't aim a punch, I just shoved him.

Wallace, who was handed a two-match ban for violent conduct, will miss the Scottish Premier League game at Motherwell on Saturday.