CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers branded the antics of Steven MacLean “stupid” with the Hearts striker now facing a two-game SFA ban.

The Hoops gaffer was clearly far from impressed by the Tynecastle frontman following his grabbing of Eboue Kouassi’s private parts as they awaited a corner-kick during the champions’ three-goal Betfred League Cup mauling of the Edinburgh outfit on Sunday.

MacLean has been cited by the SFA compliance officer after footage of the Murrayfield incident came to light.

The 36-year-old attacker had already been yellow-carded for thrusting an arm into the face of Mikael Lustig in the opening minute of the encounter.

Fortunately for Hearts, referee Willie Collum missed the first-half manhandling of the Ivorian midfielder or MacLean could have been banished on the spot.

Rodgers said: “I haven’t seen that since Vinnie Jones on Paul Gascoigne. It was a stupid thing to do – he was probably a bit emotional at the time, he’d been booked at the start of the game so he was probably fired up.

“We didn’t make any comment on it; it’ll be up to others to deal with it.

“Personally, I just don’t think there’s any need for it. You see all sorts of things going on – people standing on someone’s toes, tugging their shirts, whatever. The world’s changing anyway, so we’ve nothing to say about it.

“I didn’t play long enough for that to happen to me, but I was stamped on once during a youth international and that was sore; in fact, I can still feel it!”

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