NEIL Lennon’s battle with the Scottish Football Association was to begin today when the Celtic boss was due at at Hampden on two of a possible five disciplinary charges.
The Ulsterman has to explain criticism of referee Willie Collum after the Scottish League Cup final defeat by Kilmarnock, where he deemed the official’s decision not to award the Hoops a late penalty as “criminal”.
The following week Lennon was sent off by referee Calum Murray at the interval in the 3-2 Premier League defeat by Rangers at Ibrox.
The Armagh native was then written to by SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny demanding an explanation for his comments about referees ahead of an SPL game against St Johnstone at Celtic Park at the start of the month, but that will be dealt with at a later date – although there are suggestions that the matter may be dropped.
However, fresh charges are likely to be brought next week against Lennon following the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Hearts last Sunday.
The former Parkhead skipper marched onto the pitch to confront Norris after the Celtic’s hopes of a league and cup double were sunk from the spot by substitute Craig Beattie.
The penalty was given when a shot from Jambos skipper Marius Zaliukas hit the arm of Joe Ledley before brushing the hand of Victor Wanyama.
Lennon was further enraged when Norris refused Celtic a penalty in injury time when the ball appeared to come off the arm of Hearts defender Andy Webster. Celtic coach Alan Thompson said Lennon had been to the referee’s room and it is likely that he will be asked to explain his actions, as well as remarks he made on Twitter after the game.
He tweeted: “Referee told players he thought (Victor) Wanyama handled ... feel so sorry for players and fans ... I think it’s personal myself.”
Lennon later retweeted a comment from Celtic supporter @DazDiCanio, which suggested the club “pack our bags and get out of this league that is run by crooked £SFA officials”.