Ricksen given four-match ban

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The Independent Football

The Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen was banned for four matches by the Scottish Football Association yesterday for violent conduct but will be available to face Celtic in the final Old Firm game of the season.

The Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen was banned for four matches by the Scottish Football Association yesterday for violent conduct but will be available to face Celtic in the final Old Firm game of the season.

The Dutchman - the first player to be reprimanded twice by video evidence - received a two-match ban after being caught on camera lashing out at Hibernian's Derek Riordan in last month's CIS Insurance Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. That means that he will miss Rangers' next two Bank of Scotland Premier League games against Dundee and Dunfermline.

But Ricksen was also given 12 penalty points which took him over a disciplinary threshold, thus incurring a further two-match ban. The second suspension will not start until 30 March allowing him to play against Celtic two days earlier. He will miss the matches away to Motherwell and Livingston.

"The Scottish FA has used video evidence to punish a player for only the third time since the power was introduced," said an SFA spokesman. "The incident, which was missed by the match officials, was clearly picked up on television."

Ricksen has seven days to appeal but it is unlikely that he will, especially as Alex McLeish fined him £10,000 for unsporting conduct immediately after the game. Ricksen, who also fell foul of video evidence after lashing out at Aberdeen's Darren Young at Pittodrie in November 2000, left Hampden Park without comment after yesterday's hearing.

The only other player to be found guilty on video evidence was Celtic's Bobo Balde two seasons ago.

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