SCOTT BROWN could be hit with an extended ban if the SFA deem Celtic’s appeal against his red card against Ross County yesterday to be utilising the rule book.
The club will launch an appeal against the skipper’s red card in the fading moments of the 2-2 draw which will free the midfielder to face Sevco Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
Normally, Brown would automatically be banned for two game after receiving a straight red card following his challenge on Liam Boyce and that would have ruled him out of the Hampden encounter.
But by appealing the ban, the champions can delay it until after the last-four confrontation.
The Hoops have been told the appeal will be held on April 27 because today’s Easter holiday Monday rules out a disciplinary decision being made before Sunday’s game.
If the judicial panel upholds the decision by blundering referee Don Robertson to send him off, Brown could still be ruled out of the league game at Ibrox on Saturday, April 29.
However, if the SFA feel the Parkhead club are playing the system, the 31-year-old international star could have his ban extended to include further league matches as the team zero in on their first treble in 16 years. Brown’s tackle was slightly late and Boyce later revealed he delayed playing the ball to entice Brown into the tackle. The Celtic skipper’s challenge was clearly a foul and merited a card. But it wasn’t a high challenge nor was it dangerous.
It was late and without Boyce rolling around four times and the Highlander’s piling in to start a punch up, and if it didn’t happen after Boyce was late on Brown and the referee had made the worst decision of the season in awarding a penalty to Ross County for absolutely nothing, then Scott Brown would have deservedly picked up a yellow card.
Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, more concerned about the penalty and the cheating initially stated that he had no complaints when his skipper saw red towards the end of their controversial stalemate in Dingwall.
But he also insisted he wanted another look after the game turned ugly on the back of a ridiculous penalty award to the Highlanders after an outrageous dive by Alex Schalk.
Asked if he has any complaints about the red card, Rodgers said: “No. Scott has gone in and caught the boy late, but I’d have to see it again.
“Scott has been brilliant this season. He has never once made a challenge like that. He has been aggressive and strong.
“In his defence, the referee was letting a lot go on him. But that was the referee’s making. It was a poor end to the game
“Scott was a little frustrated by the referee for a number of reasons, not just the penalty. He has gone in, challenged for the ball and been late.
“But the talking point of the game was the penalty. It’s absolutely awful to take when it costs you another win.”
Schalk is set to be hammered by the SFA for his blatant act of simulation as he conned ropey Robertson into awarding a spot-kick, converted by Liam Boyce, when it was obvious to all, with the curious exception of the match officials, he hadn’t been touched by Erik Sviatchenko.
Rodgers said: “It’s an embarrassing decision at this level. Is it cheating? It is. Let’s not fudge and beat about the bush. That’s what it is.
“I have seen some bad decisions up here since I’ve been at Celtic, but that is the worst. He was right in front of it and there was clearly no contact.
“Sometimes a ref can be conned into it if Erik stretched his leg or dangled his foot but he didn’t. He moved his foot out of the way.
“The boy’s fallen and he gave a penalty, which was incredible.
“The referee was actually in a good position. The linesman was in a good position. Players will do that, it has always happened and, in particular, over the last number of years.
“The referee lost control of the game, which led to the penalty and the sending-off. It wasn’t very good officiating.
“I didn’t speak to the referee afterwards on the pitch. It wasn’t the time or place, but I’ll definitely speak to him if he lets the lock off his door.”