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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 20, 2007

Strachan risks ten-match touchline ban

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan could be banned from the touchline for ten matches after he was ordered from the dugout during his team's win at Aberdeen.

However he will have to wait for the case of his dismissal during April's match against Hearts to be heard before any punishment for on Sunday's incident is imposed.

The Scottish Football Association revealed today that the hearing into the incident in the Hearts match, which was due to take place on Tuesday, has been postponed.

If Strachan is found guilty of a disrepute charge when that case is heard, he will be issued with a four-game ban as it will be a second offence within three seasons.

And under SFA guidelines, as confirmed by the national governing body this morning, a third offence will result in a further six-match suspension.

Strachan was ordered to the stands by referee Stuart Dougal on two occasions in Celtic's matches against Hearts last season, in August 2006 and most recently in the April 29 game at Parkhead.

Dougal has become unavailable for on Tuesday's scheduled hearing, which Strachan requested to appeal against the mandatory four-game ban.

That must be concluded before an inquiry into the events at Pittodrie can take place, and it has necessarily been put back to a later, undetermined date.

Strachan was sent to the stands by referee Charlie Richmond following an argument with an Aberdeen official in Sunday's game.

The incident followed Kenny Miller's 85th-minute goal which put Celtic 2-1 ahead in their 3-1 victory.

The SFA expect to receive Richmond's match report on Tuesday.

Coach Tommy Burns revealed Strachan had been defending his assistant Garry Pendrey following accusations he had made a rude gesture to the Aberdeen fans behind the dugout.

Strachan was apparently pointing out to the Aberdeen official that Pendrey's two-fingered gesture was to mark the second goal.

Peter Rafferty, president of the Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters Clubs, claims Strachan is paying an unfair price for his passion.

Rafferty said: 'I'm not saying he's an easy target but he's certainly emotive and expressive.'

Strachan, a former Aberdeen player who was a key man in the great Dons team of the early 1980s, also complained of being abused by Falkirk fans last week and has voiced his fears about the coarse language used by some supporters.

Rafferty insists Strachan is acting according to his principles, rather than trying to antagonise supporters.

'I don't think he's doing anything to exaggerate the problem,' Rafferty said.

'They were trying to wind him up even further on his return to Aberdeen.

'We want the manager on the bench for future games and I think Sunday's events should be looked at again in the cold light of day.'

Burns gave his version of events after the game, insisting Pendrey had not reacted inappropriately to provocation.

He also defended Strachan, adding: 'It will be interesting to see the referee's report regarding what he was actually sent to the stand for.

'Unfortunately though, that is the world we live in, where people think they can turn up and scream the most horrible abuse at others who are a few feet away from them.

'You are not talking about neds here, but about middle-aged men screaming abuse in front of women and children.

'Then when people on the sidelines turn round and give them a wink or a wave, they want to go and report it to the police.'