Lennon warns of dangerous precedent

15 April 2011 06:00

Celtic manager Neil Lennon claims the Scottish Football Association's response to the Old Firm misconduct of Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra has set a "really dangerous precedent".

Bougherra was fined £2,500 by the SFA`s disciplinary committee for grabbing hold of referee Calum Murray`s wrist while being shown a red card in his side`s Scottish Cup defeat by Celtic last month. Bougherra`s team-mate, El-Hadji Diouf, also escaped with a fine for his misconduct charge while Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist successfully appealed against a two-match ban for his post-match disagreement with Lennon.

That left the Celtic manager as the only person to receive a ban following the infamous Old Firm encounter - he accepted an automatic four-match touchline suspension. "You have to take each case on its own merits but the furore after mine was widespread and quite condemning," Lennon said.

He added: "There was quite a lot of condemnation after this one but the results were different and I find that hard to take."

Lennon claimed Bougherra`s ban set a "really dangerous precedent" and noted a perceived gap in SFA chief executive Stewart Regan`s rhetoric and the committee`s actions.

A day after the game, Regan condemned the "inflammatory and irresponsible behaviour" and declared himself "deeply embarrassed".

Diouf was fined £5,000 for failing to leave the field of play promptly and throwing his shirt into the crowd following his post-match red card but Lennon was not satisfied with the punishments meted out to his adversaries.

"If you look at what Stewart Regan said after the game, then it totally undermined what he said, the results of the disciplinary committee," the former Celtic captain said.

"I still find it interesting that I was the only one to suffer a ban out of the four people who were up for disciplinary reasons.

"I find it difficult to understand but there is supposed to be a statement out in the next couple of days and I can comment more then."

Source: PA