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Lennon facing further punishment


Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon. Photo: Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon could face further punishment from the Scottish Football Association within a week of being handed a six-match touchline ban.

The SFA's general purposes committee meets on Monday, with controversial comments made by Lennon following defeats by Rangers and Hearts believed to be on the agenda.

Lennon received a six-match ban, which he plans to challenge, from the SFA's disciplinary committee yesterday following his dismissal in the same game against Hearts and subsequent reaction towards fourth official Steven McLean.

While the disciplinary committee is responsible for dealing with incidents flagged up in official reports from referees and police, the GPC takes care of less concrete reports of alleged misdemeanour.

The committee will discuss Lennon's post-match comments following his team's 2-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat at Tynecastle on November 10.

Lennon described as "scandalous" and "ridiculous" a rejected penalty claim for a Ryan Stevenson handball, which sparked his angry reaction, and Joe Ledley's red card.

The former Celtic captain also claimed the match officials "probably have their story ready already" - an apparent reference to referee Dougie McDonald's false account of why he rescinded a penalty awarded to Celtic against Dundee United.

Lennon could also be taken to task over remarks he made after Celtic's Old Firm derby defeat to Rangers on October 24.

The Parkhead boss criticised referee Willie Collum over the penalty he awarded to Rangers and his failure to send off Lee McCulloch during Celtic's 3-1 defeat.

Comments made by Gary Hooper could also be on the agenda, after the striker claimed in a press conference in November that referees gave decisions against Celtic because they are "one of the biggest clubs in the world".

The previously postponed GPC meeting will be the first since McDonald, in his resignation statement, accused members of the panel of failing match officials over the years by being too lenient on critical managers.

Meanwhile, Celtic's appeal against Lennon's touchline ban remains in the hands of their lawyers.

The ban is due to start before Celtic host Aberdeen in the SPL on January 22 but will be lifted if and when the appeal documents are lodged.

Lennon yesterday lost his appeal against an automatic two-match ban for his dismissal and was handed an additional four-game ban for "excessive misconduct".

However, the SFA confirmed today that his appeal would cover the whole six-game ban as it is now treated as a unified punishment.

PA Media