Strachan's two-match ban overturned

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The Independent Online

Gordon Strachan has become used to winning things during his time at Celtic but yesterday's victory would have given him particular satisfaction. The Hoops manager was successful with his appeal to the Scottish Football Association against his two-match touchline ban.

"The original refereeing decision has been overturned and therefore there will be no ban imposed on Gordon," the club said in a statement. Strachan was sent to the stands during Celtic's 3-1 defeat to Hearts in April after exchanging words with the Hearts substitute Neil McCann. He was given an automatic four-match ban because he had already been suspended for an incident in August 2006.

The disciplinary committee cut the ban to two games after Strachan's first appeal in September, but it has now been quashed completely.

However, Strachan is not completely in the clear. He faces another ban after being sent off for arguing with a steward at Aberdeen in August. The case can be heard now that the outstanding appeal has been settled.

Strachan will have time to plan his defence this weekend as Celtic and Rangers have no fixture, the Scottish FA agreeing to requests from the national team to rest players before next Saturday's crucial Euro 2008 qualifier with Italy.

Hibernian have the chance to capitalise and catch Rangers today when they travel to Gretna. Hibs, though, will be without defender David Murphy who is a major doubt due to a rib injury and the striker Abdessalam Benjelloun (knee) also misses out but midfielder Dean Shiels is available following suspension.

Gretna welcome back defender Chris Innes from a toe injury. Martin Canning is out with a knee injury.

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