MICHAEL BEALE, Steven Gerrard’s main coach, has been banned for five games following his bust-up with John Kennedy at Parkhead in December.

The Ibrox key man clashed with the Celtic assistant manager after he had been red-carded by referee Kevin Clancy.

Kennedy refused to be provoked in the incendiary incident and the SFA have now hit Beale with a suspension which will see him removed from the dug-out for the next three encounters and a further two held over until the end of the season.

Kennedy played down the altercation in the New Year and dismissed rumours there was a heated exchange in the tunnel.

He told the Daily Record at the time: “I’ve had a couple of people ask me about whether there was fighting in the tunnel. There was no such thing. It’s just the usual nonsense.

“It’s an emotional time. I know Michael very well and I have done since before he came to Rangers. We have spoken in the past. There is no issue with us.

“He was in trouble with the officials, there was a bit of verbals, that’s it, end of. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

“We had a wee bit of toing and froing very briefly, but nothing major and it’s something I would quite like to put to bed.

“The emotion of the game gets the better of you sometimes. You say some things, you move on. It is the same with the guys on the pitch. They get caught up in the emotion of it. You have to put it to bed quickly.”

The match in the east end of Glasgow was a stormy encounter which ended in controversy when Alfredo Morelos, banished for an obvious dive in search of a penalty-kick, made a ‘slit-throat’ gesture to the Celtic fans as he left the pitch.

It was later revealed he had been yellow-carded for a third time that afternoon.


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