The ‘Queens Counsel’ who represented Neil Lennon in his recent battle with the Scottish Football Association has described the governing body as ‘the laughing stock of world football’ after Ally McCoist won his appeal against a touchline ban with the SFA saying that the Rangers assistant did not have a case to answer, while Madjid Bougherra and El Hadji Diouf avoiding bans for serious misconduct.
However Paul McBride believes that the SFA have been far too lenient on the Ibrox side.
“The SFA are tonight officially the laughing stock of world football and they have been shown to be not merely dysfunctional and not merely dishonest but biased,” he told BBC Scotland. “Because McCoist, who undoubtedly said something that provoked a reaction from Neil Lennon that caused a four-match ban for him, has received no punishment at all.
“We know that Bougherra, who man-handled the referee not once but twice, doesn’t get a ban. We know that El-Hadji Diouf who is involved in an altercation in the tunnel with a Celtic physiotherapist refuses to leave the park and, given a red card and throws his top into the crowd against police advice isn’t given a ban either. What is any sensible person to think of that set of affairs?
“Frankly, anybody with the tiniest brain could only regard them as being biased and prejudiced. They are not rational, they are not fair and they are not consistent in the way they have approached the matter with Neil Lennon and Celtic in general. And tonight I think people will be scratching their heads in amazement and disbelief at the way the SFA conduct their affairs and continue to conduct their affairs.”
While a spokesman for the SFA declined to comment, Paul McBride had plenty to say.
“Rangers have apparently said this is a victory for common sense,” added McBride. So, if a Celtic player tonight manhandles the referee, throws his top into the crowd, abuses other players, causes reaction among management and no action is taken, Rangers will presumably will tell us tomorrow that’s a victory for common sense. I don’t believe anybody thinks that to be correct.”
Celtic successfully challenged SFA rules to reduce Lennon’s touchline ban, but McBride said that he and Peter Lawwell had hoped that the line had been drawn under their dispute with the SFA.
“We all hoped that,” added McBride. “Peter Lawwell declared last week there is no war against the SFA. There shouldn’t be. We all wanted to sit down together and get on and make things better and have a better dialogue and then we have ludicrous decisions like today that will only inflame the fury of many Celtic fans out there feel.”
Celtic manager did not wish to dwell on the SFA decision before tonight’s game against St.Johnstone but he did say, “I find it interesting that, after all the fall-out from that game, I am the only one who has been banned.”
Source: BBC Football