THE SFA have released a statement admitting that one of its judicial panel members did not consider all of the evidence available to them in the recent controversial decision to uphold a one-match ban for Inverness Caley Thistle striker James Keatings.

The former Celtic, Hearts, Hamilton Accies, St Johnstone, Dundee United and Hibs forward was shown a second yellow card during his side’s 2-1 win over Rangers Colts in the semi-finals of the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup last Sunday for simulation.

However, footage of the incident appeared to show clear contact between Keatings and the Ibrox player sending him crashing to the turf.

The Highlanders appealed the decision, expecting the booking to be rescinded, but the judicial panel reviewing the incident decided to uphold the ban.
Thistle then released a statement relaying their dismay at the panel’s judgement, leading to the SFA’s statement this afternoon.

In it, Scottish football’s governing body admit that one of the panel members “did not undertake their obligations with respect to the consideration of all the available evidence”.

As such, the SFA have decided to review the incident once more as it “cannot in this instance consider the tribunal verdict competent”.

Additionally, the panel member in question has been withdrawn from the pool of potential future officials.

CLASH…James Keatings is challenged by the Gers youngster.

GOING…Keatings begins to tumble.

GOING…Keatings is about to crash to the turf.

GONE…Keatings crash-lands to the ground.

The statement on the SFA’s website read: “The Scottish FA’s Chief Executive, Ian Maxwell, has received notification that the tribunal convened to hear the Claim for Wrongful Caution raised by Inverness Caledonian Thistle on behalf of James Keatings failed to implement its duties as per the Judicial Panel Protocol.

“Specifically, one of the panel members has advised that, despite raising no concerns throughout the process, they did not undertake their obligations with respect to the consideration of all the available evidence.

“While the Fast Track Claims process is by definition an appeal, and therefore not open to further consideration, none the less the Chief Executive and Presidential team, Rod Petrie and Mike Mulraney, are unanimous that the tribunal outcome cannot be considered competent in light of the disclosure from the panel member and that the input from that panel member must be withdrawn.

“With that in mind, and only in extremis based on the information provided by the panel member, the determination cannot be considered valid. Therefore, the Judicial Panel Secretary has been instructed to convene a new tribunal and a fresh date will be set in due course.

GROUNDS FOR COMPLAINT…James Keatings crashes to the turf.

“The initial outcome is rendered invalid by the acknowledgement of a panel member of their failure to dispose of their duties in respect of section 13.13.4 of the Judicial Panel Protocol and, in particular, the following paragraph:

“The Determination of the Claim shall be made by the Fast Track Tribunal by examining and deliberating upon: (ii) all of the evidence and submissions delivered by the Claimant in support of the Notice of Claim.

“The Scottish FA upholds the independence of the Judicial Panel Protocol but cannot in this instance consider the tribunal verdict competent, based on the admitted failure of a panel member to adhere to the process as outlined.

“The panel member in question has subsequently been withdrawn from the pool of potential panel members for all future tribunals.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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