Banned Scotland star Naismith to miss qualifiers

05 October 2012 06:49

Scotland midfielder Steven Naismith will miss his country's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium after being handed a two-match suspension.

Naismith was punished for an elbow on Serbia's Srdjan Mijailovic during last month's qualifier at Hampden Park.

The clash wasn't included in the referee or match delegate's report, but Naismith was banned by FIFA after television pictures showed the Everton star hitting out with his arm while running alongside Mijailovic.

A Scottish Football Association statement read: "FIFA have confirmed to the Scottish FA that their Disciplinary Committee have imposed an immediate two-match suspension on Steven Naismith following an incident that took place during the last month's 2014 World Cup Qualifier against Serbia at Hampden Park."

Naismith's absence is a blow to Scotland boss Craig Levein ahead of two crucial fixtures against Wales in Cardiff next Friday and Belgium in Brussels four days later.

"Obviously this is disappointing news but Steven has been very honest and professional throughout the disciplinary process," said Levein, whose side drew their opening two qualifiers.

"We named a 25-man squad earlier this week to compensate for any potential suspension, which has now been confirmed, and I am confident we have enough strength in that department to offset the loss of a player who has been in excellent form so far this season."

Source: AFP