Wednesday 13 November 2019

Scotland’s Steven Naismith faces probe over off-the-ball incident

Gavin McCafferty

SCOTLAND forward Steven Naismith could miss the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium next month after FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings over an off-the-ball incident during the draw with Serbia.

Naismith faces a potential three-match ban over his alleged elbow on Serbia's Srdan Mijailovic.

Television pictures showed the Everton player raising his arm towards Mijailovic in the goalless World Cup qualifier at Hampden on September 8.

The incident was not included in the referee or match delegate's report but FIFA have since launched an inquiry after being made aware of the flashpoint.

A FIFA statement read: "We can confirm that FIFA has now opened disciplinary proceedings against the player Steven Naismith.

"The case will be on the agenda for the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on October 5. However, before then, the SFA have until the end of this week (Friday September 28) to provide FIFA with their position regarding the case."

Scotland face Wales on October 12 in Cardiff before facing Belgium in Brussels four days later and are in need of points to boost their qualifying hopes after drawing home games against the Serbs and Macedonia.

Naismith, 26, could also miss the away game against Serbia in March if given the maximum ban.

The Left Wing: Champions Cup preview, the World Cup hangover and Joe Schmidt's next team

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport