Hearts boss Craig Levein handed one-match ban

Hearts manager Craig Levein has been handed an immediate one-match touchline ban following criticism of the match officials in his side’s defeat by Rangers last month.

Levein has also been given an additional one-game ban, which is suspended until the end of the year, following a Scottish Football Association disciplinary hearing.

The former Scotland boss hit out at the performance of referee Bobby Madden and his fellow match officials after Alfredo Morelos netted the winner at Tynecastle but an offside was missed in the build-up.

Levein said after the game: “I read a quote from Neil Lennon a few weeks ago when they went to Celtic Park and he said that ‘we were playing against 12 men’. That’s how I feel today.

“How Morelos stays on the park and gets through that without a booking I’ll never know. Some of the decisions today were abysmal.

“Austin (MacPhee) phoned (SFA head of referees) John Fleming a while ago after we had three goals against us that were offside because the linesman made mistakes.

“John Fleming suggested that we held the line on the 18-yard line to make it easier for his officials. So we did that today and they still f*****g got it wrong!

“Actually, it’s 13 we are playing against. And the good thing is that Neil Lennon didn’t get any punishment – that’s good to know. It’s really good news that there won’t be any punishment.”

However, SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte and a disciplinary tribunal took a different stance and ruled that Levein had breached a rule which states officials and players should not “publicity criticise the decision and/or
performance of any or all match officials in such a way as to indicate bias or incompetence”.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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