FIFA open disciplinary proceedings against Steven Naismith


A spokesperson for world football’s governing body said: “FIFA can confirm that it has now opened disciplinary proceedings against the player Steven Naismith.”

It could mean that if found guilty of violent conduct, that Naismith could face a possible three game ban – which means he would miss next month’s double-header with Wales and Belgium.

The probe, which will likely see TV evidence used against Naismith, has been launched two weeks after the incident in question, despite it not being mentioned in the referee or match delegate’s report.

According to reports in this morning’s Daily Record, the Scottish FA have written to FIFA to seek an answer to why it has taken until now for them to take action and exactly who brought the incident to their attention.

A source close to Levein said: “On one hand, it doesn’t really matter who made the complaint as it’s done now and the player will most probably be banned. But, on the other, it would be nice to know.”

The governing body’s disciplinary code states that TV evidence can be used as proof in case which aim to sanction “serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention“.

In fact the use of TV evidence to punish players was championed by the Scottish FA and in particular former Chief Executive Gordon Smith

The Scottish FA reported then Hearts player Saulius Mikoliunas to UEFA for diving, who threw himself down in the box to win a penalty for Lithuania in a European Championship 2008 qualifier at Hampden against Scotland. He was retrospectively banned by UEFA for two games.

The Scottish FA also hammered former Rangers forward Kyle Lafferty for feigning injury in an SPL league game in May 2009 against Aberdeen. The Northern Irishman fell to the ground in a heap clutching his face alleging that he had been headbutted by then-Aberdeen defender Charlie Mulgrew. TV evidence was used to ban Lafferty for three matches after it showed no contact had been made.

Now Scotland have fallen foul of the same use of evidence the Scottish FA had championed for.

According to FIFA’s disciplinary code – also admissible as proof are: “reports from referees, assistant referees, match commissioners and referee inspectors, declarations from the parties and witnesses, material evidence, expert opinions and audio or video recordings.”


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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