CELTIC have branded Jon Flanagan’s ban escape as a “huge embarrassment for Scottish football”.
The Ibrox defender remarkably dodged a two-game suspension after clearly firing an elbow into Scott Brown’s face in a nasty confrontation in Govan last weekend.
Making matters worse, the ball was not even in play during the flashpoint moment as Callum McGregor was preparing to take a right-wing corner-kick.
Amazingly, referee Kevin Clancy, who observed the thuggish action, only flashed a yellow card, but the former Liverpool player was later issued with a retrospective punishment after three former match officials declared his offence violent conduct following the incident’s re-examination by SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte.
However, the Ibrox side challenged that assessment and an independent panel dismissed the case following an SFA disciplinary hearing yesterday.
A Celtic spokesperson said: “This whole matter is a huge embarrassment for Scottish football.”
Hoops interim manager Neil Lennon had argued the offence was a blatant red card.
Flanagan has now been cleared to play in the non-event, nothing-at-stake, end-of-season game against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park tomorrow afternoon while the champions will be celebrating their eighth successive title against Hearts at a 60,000 sell-out Parkhead at the same time.