STEVEN NAISMITH, branded “a coward” by Chris Sutton, faces a ban following his disgraceful assault on Scott Brown during Celtic’s 3-1 win over Hearts at Tynecastle yesterday.

The SFA will review footage of his over-the-top and reckless challenge on the Hoops skipper and could suspend him for two games, at least.

Tony McGlennan, the SFA compliance officer, will study the incident that happened on the touchline and trackside with TV images clearly showing the ex-Sevco player going in studs up into Brown’s groin.

Astoundingly, referee Bobby Madden, who witnessed the actions of Naismith, waved play on. Similarly, he dismissed another dodgy “tackle” on James Forrest where the same player appeared to stamp on the winger’s left ankle.

Should the SFA decide to issue the on-loan Norwich midfielder a notice of complaint, the most likely scenario would be a two-game suspension for violent conduct.

No action is expected to be taken before Hearts face Hibs on Wednesday. If there is a ban, it is likely to kick in against Kilmarnock on Sunday at Rugby Park.

Naismith would then be sidelined for the first game of the new season, although it’s not clear if he will still be at Tynecastle or back at Carrow Road where he has a year of his contract to run.

The SFA could also decide to hand the former international a yellow card if they feel the challenge does not merit a retrospective red.

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