Ally McCoist ban for Rangers overturned

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The Independent Online

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist has won his appeal against a two-match ban handed out by the Scottish Football Association following his altercation with Celtic boss Neil Lennon.

The pair were charged with misconduct by the SFA as a result of their angry exchange following the Scottish Cup replay at Celtic Park on March 2.

McCoist appealed against the punishment, allowing him to operate from the technical area in last month's Co-operative Insurance Cup final victory.

The ban has now been overturned by the SFA following a meeting of their disciplinary committee at Hampden today.

Today's verdict was welcomed by McCoist, who felt he had no case to answer.

He told www.rangers.co.uk: "I am pleased that the SFA accepted what we had to say on the matter.

"I didn't believe I had a case to answer and I am delighted with the outcome.

"As I have said before what happened at the game is in the past and we've moved on.

"My focus now is the same as our entire squad - to win our remaining games in the league."

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain added: "We welcome the decision regarding Alistair and this fully justifies our decision to appeal against the original two-match touchline ban.

"We have been fully supportive of Alistair's position on this issue from the beginning and we're glad that common sense has prevailed.

"We are, however, disappointed that our players' misconduct was, in the opinion of the disciplinary committee, to be of a significantly serious nature and we will study the reasons for this when they are given in writing."

Lennon was already the subject of a four-match ban and the charge triggered an additional four-match suspension for the Celtic boss.

However, the SFA later conceded his ban would run concurrently, rather than consecutively, following a legal challenge by Celtic, and Lennon completed his touchline suspension on Saturday after five games.

Also appearing at Hampden today were El-Hadji Diouf and Madjid Bougherra, who both escaped without further bans for their part in the Old Firm derby.

The Rangers pair were fined and warned over their future conduct by the SFA after facing the disciplinary committee to answer a case of "misconduct of a significantly serious nature".

Diouf was fined £5,000 by the governing body, while Bougherra was fined £2,500. Both players were red-carded in the match.

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