Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist charged by SFA
Thursday 10 March 2011
Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Rangers assistant boss Ally McCoist were today charged with misconduct by the Scottish Football Association as the fallout of last week's volatile Scottish Cup fifth-round reply at Parkhead continued.
Lennon and McCoist have incurred four and two-match touchline bans respectively for their altercation at the final whistle of last Wednesday's match, which Celtic won 1-0.
El-Hadji Diouf, who was red-carded after the final whistle, and his Rangers team-mate Madjid Bougherra, sent off during the game, have also been reported to the SFA's disciplinary committee for "misconduct of a significantly serious nature".
Three Rangers players - Steven Whittaker was the other - were dismissed by referee Calum Murray.
A Scottish FA statement read: "The Scottish FA can confirm that Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, and Ally McCoist, the Rangers assistant manager, have been charged with misconduct relating to the Scottish Cup fifth-round replay.
"Mr Lennon will incur an automatic four-match suspension from the technical area, owing to a previous charge of misconduct, while Mr McCoist will incur a two-match suspension. These will be effective from March 16, 2011.
"In addition, the Rangers players, El-Hadji Diouf and Madjid Bougherra, have been informed that they will be reported to the disciplinary committee for misconduct of a significantly serious nature. These will be considered at the committee's next meeting, on April 12."
Lennon was already subject of a four-match ban and already banished to the stands for the March 20 Co-operative Insurance Cup final with Rangers at Hampden Park, but now McCoist will join him in being banned from the touchline, unless he appeals the decision.
Lennon and McCoist clashed and had to be separated at the same time Rangers forward Diouf, booked earlier in the match for a touchline confrontation with the Celtic boss, was being shown a second yellow card by referee Calum Murray for dissent.
The Ibrox club had finished the game with nine men after the first-half dismissal of Steven Whittaker for picking up two yellow cards with defender Bougherra receiving his marching orders in stoppage time after a challenge on Kris Commons, having been booked earlier.
Bougherra reacted angrily and tried to prevent referee Murray from showing his cards.
Last week Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan confirmed an investigation would take place.
Speaking last Thursday, Regan described the behaviour witnessed at Celtic Park as "inflammatory and irresponsible" while claiming the "actions - which culminated in three red cards and 13 cautions in total - also re-emphasised the ongoing lack of respect for our match official".
Strathclyde Police requested Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond host an Old Firm summit in the aftermath of the match and on Tuesday Celtic and Rangers agreed to an action plan in an effort to avert repetitions of the bad behaviour on and off the field.
Speaking in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and his Rangers counterpart Martin Bain said the clubs had moved on from the match.
The sixth Old Firm derby of the season will take place at Hampden a week on Sunday, with the League Cup at stake, while there will be a further fixture in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, with that title also at stake.
While Lennon faces an eight-match touchline absence, with the fresh charge adding to his prior penalty, McCoist will miss the Hampden final and the April 2 SPL clash with Dundee United.
The teams have the right of appeal but it is not yet clear if one will be lodged.
McCoist insisted he was focused on tonight's Europa League match with PSV Eindhoven and would address the issue of his ban after the match in Holland.
The Rangers assistant boss told BBC Radio Scotland: "That's news to me.
"I'll have a wee think about it after the game tonight."
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