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Lennon relief as ban suspended

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Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Neil Lennon has expressed his delight at being able to lead Celtic out in the William Hill Scottish Cup final after escaping an immediate touchline ban.

The Celtic manager was yesterday given a one-game suspended touchline ban during a Scottish Football Association disciplinary hearing, meaning he will be free to sit in the Hampden dugout for Sunday's clash with Hibernian.

He later wrote on his official Twitter account: "Thrilled to be on the touchline for Sunday. Cup Final is always a special occasion."

The former Celtic captain was found guilty of entering the "playing zone" within 15 minutes of the final whistle of Celtic's 3-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat by Motherwell last month while serving a three-match touchline ban.

With the hearing falling at an inopportune moment, the Northern Irishman feared being cast away from the heart of the action as he bids to complete the double and claim his second Scottish Cup win as a manager.

Lennon was forced to sit in the Hampden stand when Celtic lost the 2011 League Cup final to Rangers during a previous touchline suspension.

But the SFA suspended his ban until the end of next season and it will only be triggered if he breaches another touchline ban.

"Mr Lennon was found in breach, with a one-match suspension applied," read an SFA statement.

"The tribunal suspended the sanction until the end of season 2013-14 and to take effect in the event that Mr Lennon is found in breach of rule 205 within that period."


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