Shiels considering ban appeal
Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels is considering appealing against his touchline ban.
On Thursday Shiels was handed a four-match ban, two of which are suspended until the end of next season, for remarks about referee Euan Norris following his side's defeat to Inverness on November 3. Shiels, who made a personal appearance at the Scottish Football Association hearing at Hampden, will now start a minimum three-match ban after a one-game suspension, hanging over him for comments made about officials last season, was enforced.
"I would love to appeal it because I think I would be totally justified in appealing it," said Shiels, speaking ahead of Saturday's Scottish Premier League clash at Aberdeen.
"If it was going to a court of law, it would be thrown out after two minutes. But it isn't. It's going to football law.
"I can't afford my club to be spending money on me to keep going up.
"If it's costing, I would say no because I can serve the three matches in no time, but I'm principled and on the grounds of principle I feel it's important that I defend myself and put in an appeal.
"By talking to you guys (the media) it might do me self-damage for an appeal, but I have to be open with everybody. That's the way I am.
"I want to get back to talking about football, but I've been unfairly treated and it's important that there's an openness from me to you and to the public as to what's happened.
"Now everybody knows, which is good. It's fantastic that everybody knows now, so let's have the truth out there.
"The truth won't damage me, I can assure you of that."
Shiels was found to be in breach of SFA rules for comments made in interviews following the Inverness match that "impinged upon the character of a match official". Further comments in a newspaper article reporting Killie's successful appeal over the dismissal of goalkeeper Cammy Bell in the Inverness match were also noted by the SFA judiciary. Shiels defended himself at Hampden and again in public a day later. He said:
"Yesterday I was manipulated and I've been given four games for apparently, in rule 68, something like that, impinging in the character of a referee, which is totally untrue.
"As soon as I had seen the footage of Cammy Bell's sending off, I said when the referee sees the footage, it's a great opportunity for him to show his integrity by admitting he's made a mistake.
"If someone said that about me I would say that's good because it's important that I show my integrity when I make a mistake.
"But apparently, and bizarrely, that's impinging on someone's character.
"The other one when I refused to speak about the referee and my explanation for that was that if I tell the truth, grudges might be borne against me. Those are the two things I've got four matches for."
The Northern Irishman escaped additional punishment by the SFA panel after being sent to the stands by referee Stevie O'Reilly for disputing his controversial decision to dismiss Manuel Pascali in a match against St Johnstone at Rugby Park on November 24. Shiels was found in breach of SFA rule 203, which relates to misconduct, but the panel ruled no further sanction was necessary. Pascali is available for the trip to Aberdeen, who beat Motherwell in the Scottish Cup on Tuesday, after "serving three games for winning a tackle". Shiels added:
"We know it's going to be hard to go up there and get anything.
"They've been strong, committed, difficult to break down and really hard working.
"They were very good (at Motherwell on Tuesday)."
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