Rangers duo Madjid Bougherra and El Hadji Diouf have both escaped bans from the SFA for their actions in the Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic last month.
Diouf has been fined £5,000 by the SFA, while Bougherra was handed a £2,500 fine, with both being warned of their future conduct.
Referee Calum Murray was at the hearing at Hampden Park to give his version of events to the disciplinary panel.
Bougherra twice man handled Murray during the match, first when the official showed Steven Whittaker a red card in the first half and then another red at Bougherra in the dying minutes of the game. While Diouf was booked in the first half was an altercation with Neil Lennon on the touchline, after the Senegal striker barged into the Celtic physio and then shown a red card after the final whistle for comments made to the referee.
Both Bougherra and Diouf received automatic suspensions for their sendings off in the match on March 2, although the bans will not apply until next season’s competition. And with both players heading out of Rangers in the summer, those bans are null and void, as they do not carry over to other leagues or club competitions in Europe.
In 2005, Neil Lennon was banned for three games for barging into and comments made to officials in a game between Celtic and Rangers. Former Referee Willie Young at the time slammed the SFA’s leniency.
While another former referee Stuart Dougal stated, “This was about the future protection of Scotland’s referees and that’s where the feeling of disappointment comes in, to be honest I have not had enough time yet to fully absorb the decision but it is fair to say I am disappointed. I’m not disappointed for my own sake because this was never about Stuart Dougal versus Neil Lennon or Stuart Dougal versus Celtic Football Club.”
“In such circumstances, where there is physical confrontation with an official, they should be considering a five-match suspension, I am surprised that is not what they went for.”
And in the same year referees were angered at the SFA’s decision to ‘water down’ the five match ban on former Hearts player Saulius Mikoliunas for barging into linesman Andy Davis, to just three games.
Are the punishments handed to the Rangers duo fitting? Is handing players a fine pointless given the amount of money they make per week? Have the SFA been too lenient or have they been too harsh? We want your views on the decision.
Source: STV Sport