Rangers forward Steven Naismith has been banned for two matches for violent conduct with immediate effect, after the SFA reviewed the incident between Naismith and Austin McCann during Rangers’ 4-0 win over Dunfermline at East End Park.
Naismith was caught on camera elbowing McCann, an incident that was missed by referee Iain Brines and his assistants. Naismith went on to score two goals for Rangers against Dunfermline. However the SFA’s Compliance Officer reviewed footage of the incident and issued a two match ban. Rangers are not appealing the decision.
The SFA statement read: “The player [Naismith] was offered a two match suspension, which is equivalent to the automatic suspension that would have applied had the referee reported this offence. The player has accepted the suspension offered. Accordingly, the case will not require to be determined by a Fast Track Tribunal. The suspension applies immediately to the club’s next two first team matches, irrespective of competition.”
Rangers manager Ally McCoist on Sunday stated: “I spoke to Naisy about it and he said the lad didn’t make anything of it and that he was just trying to brush him aside. But I’d be better qualified to speak about it after I’ve seen it. There are rights and wrongs about whether he has been singled out because it’s a television match or whatever. But, until anything happens, I wouldn’t have any comment to make. It goes without saying that we hope nothing comes of it. Naismith is not an aggressive, violent boy.”
After the ban was imposed by the SFA, Rangers issued a statement on their official website: “Rangers Football Club today received a Notification of Complaint from the SFA in connection with an incident involving Steven Naismith and Austin McCann at Saturday’s SPL match against Dunfermline.
“After reviewing video footage, the club has decided to accept the Fixed Suspension and as such the player will miss the next two SPL matches – against Kilmarnock tomorrow evening and Hibernian at the weekend. Steven has already had an apology accepted by Austin McCann and admits there was no deliberate intent to make contact with the player at East End Park.
“As Manager Ally McCoist stated at today’s pre-Kilmarnock press conference, Rangers supports the new SFA fast-track process for dealing with disciplinary matters and trusts it will be applied fairly across all clubs.”
What are your thoughts on the ban? Was it the correct decision? Was it harsh on Naismith or was it too lenient?