Celtic coach Lennon hit with new ban

04 May 2012 12:16

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been handed an immediate three-match touchline ban for confronting referee Euan Norris after the Hoops' Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Hearts.

In his latest run-in with the Scottish Football Association's disciplinary system, Lennon received a six-match ban on Thursday but half of the punishment was suspended until the end of next season.

The former Celtic midfielder, who has just served a two-match ban, received no punishment for a further two rule breaches relating to comments made on Twitter hours after the game.

Lennon speaking after Celtic, who've already won the Scottish tile, had beaten St Johnstone 1-0 in a Premier League match at Parkhead on Thursday, promised to learn from his latest ban.

"All I will say is that I got a fair hearing, I think the punishment is pretty fair as well," said Lennon.

"I expected to be punished. I have apologised to the referee in correspondence and he has responded and he is grateful of that and we move on.

"The judicial panel don't want to be punishing people, but when you cross the line I expected to be punished and I have been and I am going to learn from this," he added.

"I will have a suspension hanging over my head and that is a warning for me.

"If I step out of line again I could get three matches plus and I don't want that," Lennon said.

Earlier, an SFA ruling read: "The judicial panel found Mr Lennon in breach but imposed no further sanction based on the fact he was not responsible for the posting of the actual tweet."

After the match in question, Lennon ran onto the Hampden Park pitch to confront Norris over a Hearts penalty award that came when a Marius Zaliukas shot hit the arm of Joe Ledley and then brushed against Victor Wanyama.

Celtic were then denied a penalty of their own when the ball struck Hearts defender Andy Webster.

A tweet from Lennon was posted shortly after the game, where he said: "Referee told players he thought Wanyama handled.feel so sorry for players and fansI think it's personal myself."

He then re-tweeted a comment from a Celtic supporter that suggested the club "pack our bags and get out of this league that is run by crooked £SFA officials".

Lennon served a two-match ban for accusing referee Willie Collum of a "criminal" decision in not awarding Celtic a late penalty in their 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup final.

Source: AFP

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